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Limited take-up? The modular industry is thriving!


Much has been written in the construction press about the reluctance of government departments to embrace offsite construction, despite a ‘presumption in favour’ of offsite being a commitment from a number of departments. Despite that, however, trade body the Modular and Portable Building Association has reported an upsurge in activity in the modular market, with a number of major players committing large sums to the sector – particularly for housing. The cover picture of this issue, kindly supplied by the MPBA, features a modular unit being craned into place on site. Read the full story on page 25

7 Constructive Comment



Survey prompts ‘go green in 2020’ message


Plans submitted for Everton’s new stadium


Queen’s Park to downsize to Lesser Hampden


Extend gangmaster rules to help stamp out slavery, says union


Retentions Roadmap gets official CLC backing


Failed lintel restored to former glory


Futurebuild 2020: be the catalyst for change




Know your enemy! Asbestos training can save lives


Despite the ban, asbestos is still lurking in many buildings


The killer in our midst has a long history


Independent listing carries only audited training providers


Training register leads the way


Ignorance of the risks is no defence


Egham facility is latest addition to portfolio




Zoe pips the boys to apprenticeship title


CIOB Student Challenge readies for kick-off


Apprentices shine at national skills final


Limited offsite take-up? On the contrary, the modular industry is thriving


Would you turn down a 24:1 return on investment?


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For all other enquiries: Tel: 0161 710 3880 Fax: 0161 710 3879 Email: Suite 2, 61 Lower Hillgate, Stockport SK1 3AW Editor: Chris Stokes Copyright Construction National. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be copied, reproduced or transmitted in any form without prior permission of Construction National. Views expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of the publisher. Printed in the UK by The Magazine Printing Company Plc


CONTENTS WORKING AT HEIGHT 28 NASC launches 2020 Yearbook 28 Scaffolding trade body launches armed forces training pot 29 New NASC contracts committee chair confirmed 29 Safety equipment winners honoured at AGM 30 Scaffolding award tops off a fine centenary year 31 CISRS cards to go smart 31 Stay safe at height with CISRS scaffolding awareness training 33 Additional scaffolder training available 33 New ‘go to’ safety guide published 33 Altus Safety celebrates three years of success


ROOFING 34 Roofers make their pitch for fame and glory 34 SnapIT Express – the swifter-to-fit modern aluminium system GROUND SOURCE HEAT PUMPS 35 Road map charts the role of heat pumps in decarbonisation 35 Install heat pumps under parks, say campaigners


ON THE ROAD 37 Peugeot partners its way to multiple success 37 Panel van adds a few expert touches HOUSING 38 Development reaps the reward of Passivhaus compliance 38 New build registrations grow despite fall in private builds 38 HBF hosts Environment Summit FIRE PROTECTION 39 Grenfell: next phase of inquiry follows damning indictment of cladding material 39 Fire door factory tour for the ministry – now open to specifiers 40 Fire resistant concrete repair for vertical and overhead applications 41 Poor build quality adds to perpetuation of fire spread, says ASFP


PEST CONTROL 42 Why pest control is a must-have on site 43 Prevent problems with professional pest advice at the start 45 A site is a workplace as well as an investment 45 European pest controllers agree to promote professionalism SITE SECURITY 46 Trades targeted in tool theft ‘epidemic’ 46 CCTV Monitoring focuses on growth with BigChange mobile workforce tech 47 Trespassers should be prosecuted 47 Bull launches new access control site solution FLOORING 48 Professional organisations ensure quality in flooring 48 Industry’s recycling effort is redoubled 49 Industry’s own training body offers a range of courses 49 Ancient or modern, the quality endures

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THE OVERWHELMING ISSUE facing construction as we enter a new decade is that of the industry’s response to climate change. Part of a possible answer is the embracing of modern methods of construction (MMCs). Central to that are modular buildings, constructed offsite. Much has been reported in the construction press about the reluctance of public bodies to embrace offsite methods, despite it being a tenet of government policy; however the modular industry’s representative body reports a booming sector. Our front cover features an example of a modular building under construction. • Beginning the decade by embracing green ideals was also the New Year message from the RICS. It follows publication of a disappointing report showing little faith by construction employees in their bosses’ prioritisation of environmental issues. The RICS has taken the lead in promoting green issues with its Valuing the Planet campaign. • A seemingly small but significant way contractors and suppliers can improve their environmental effort is by recycling more waste material. The flooring industry has its own scheme for recycling waste carpet and other flooring materials, and the scheme is expanding rapidly. Carpet Recycling UK has recently opened a new facility in Edinburgh, its first in Scotland. • The whole spectrum of issues facing the industry as a result of climate change is the subject of Futurebuild, taking place at London’s ExCeL in March. An interesting feature of the show is the Big Innovation Pitch, in which innovators present their ideas to a panel of judges to have them adopted by BRE – a kind of Green Dragons’ Den. • Anyone who has read the accounts by Zak Garner-Purkis of his undercover investigation into modern slavery cannot but feel outrage that such practices can exist now, here and in plain sight. Well, actually, not everybody. Part of the thrust of Zak’s account – part of a joint expose by Construction News and BBC Three – is the extent to which leaders in the industry seem not to care. The main trade union in the industry pins a big part of the blame for the situation on the convoluted recruitment process of major contractors and is calling for the extension of the gangmasters regime to construction. • The industry must also shoulder a large part of the blame for yet another human tragedy on a large scale: the loss of life in the Grenfell fire. The first part of the official inquiry into the tragedy has been published and makes harrowing reading. It seems, however, that little has changed, according to one fire prevention body. The Association for Specialist Fire Prevention is calling for better build quality and understanding of the way modern construction materials behave in a fire. • If a modern construction material was killing 5,000 people a year, the outcry would be unimaginable. But that is exactly what is happening to people who have ingested asbestos fibres. And despite the fact asbestos was banned 20 years ago, the deaths are still happening. Many in the safety industry point to on-going failings on the part of employers of the law regarding asbestos awareness. We look at the training needed. • Less serious, but of concern to everyone working in construction, is the scourge of pest infestation. Apart from the damage pests can cause to materials and equipment, the presence of vermin can damage a site’s image – and that of the building firm concerned. • Pests with a human face are those individuals who trespass on construction sites to climb on anything they can – and sometimes fall off again. Legally, the site owner is responsible for their safety: a farcical situation and an application of the law not envisaged when it was formulated. Site owners have resorted to injunctions to stop them, but the law surely needs to be reviewed. q

Chris Stokes Editor, Construction National


Survey prompts ‘go green in 2020’ message [THE RICS is urging property and construction firms to make 2020 the

year they commit to going green and helping to improve climate change, after a YouGov poll revealed that real estate employers may not be doing enough to reduce their operational impact on the environment. The survey, commissioned by RICS, revealed that 34% of real estate and construction workers feel their employer is not doing enough to help reduce its environmental impact, while 22% admitted they were ‘unsure’ if their employer is doing enough. Worryingly, over half of contributors (62%) also said they do not feel that environmental sustainability is at the centre of their employer’s decision making. Earlier this year, RICS launched a Value the Planet campaign, which aims to encourage firms of all sizes in the built environment sector to reduce their operational impact on the environment and consider the longer-term sustainability of their business decision making, by committing to adopting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. As part of the campaign RICS has also launched a Responsible Business Report, which includes solutions for companies to operate greener – including introducing higher recycling rates and reducing energy, transport and water use where possible. Dr Patrice Cairns, RICS policy manager, commented: “The government cannot address climate change on its own. We need a collaborative effort, especially from the built environment industry as it is a major contributor to the climate change problem, with 40% of national energy consumption coming from the sector. “That is why we have developed a number of resources – as part of our Value the Planet campaign – which will provide firms with useful, long-term solutions to develop and implement more sustainable business practices and help preserve the planet for the future.” A large majority (80%) of respondents to the YouGov poll agreed that a


collaborative effort from all industry bodies is needed to encourage property firms to operate more sustainably. Dr Cairns added: “These survey results are a stark reminder that a truly collaborative effort is needed, not only from employers but also professional industry bodies, in order to improve the environment and the future of our planet.” “That is why we have recently joined a climate change expert panel, along with other built environment professional bodies, to provide advice and guidance on all sector matters relating to the mitigation of climate change. This joint approach will help call for, and develop, new regulatory and policy approaches to tackle climate change, and look to identify how best the built environment professions can work together to drive a Net Zero pathway.” q

Plans submitted for Everton’s new stadium

[FANS OF Everton Football Club got a

much-awaited Christmas present when the club submitted a detailed planning application to Liverpool City Council for its new, 52,000-seater stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock on Liverpool’s waterfront. The stadium will be located on Peel’s Liverpool Waters site. At the heart of the proposal is a stunning brick, steel and glass stadium which takes its inspiration from the historic maritime and warehouse buildings nearby. The design combines the historic and the modern, with the brick base incorporating a subtle nod to Goodison Park’s famous Archibald Leitch lattice work, while the dynamic roof structure of steel and glass will give the stadium a modern finish. The multi-storey car park has been relocated from its previously-planned waterfront location and integrated within the stadium, to create one impressive standalone structure, while additional environmental measures, including wind baffles, have been incorporated in the final proposals. The proposed stadium is made up of four distinctive stands, including a large steep home stand at the south end that will house 13,000 Evertonians on matchdays. Supporters will be as close to the action as regulations permit. The design of both north and south stand lower tiers will make it easy to adopt rail seating and, should legislation change in the future, they could also be converted into areas for safe standing – offering supporters flexibility in the future. The detailed stadium application was submitted on 23 December. It is to be followed by a separate outline planning application for a community-led legacy project at Goodison Park, with the intention for both applications to be determined by Liverpool City Council at the same time. The planning application follows three years of comprehensive public, fan and stakeholder engagement, which included more than 63,000 responses received across two stages of formal public consultation. The results showed 98% support for the design. Professor Denise Barrett-Baxendale, chief executive of Everton Football Club, said: “This is a huge milestone in the club’s history, but also a

profound statement of intent for our future. It marks the culmination of many years of work that has combined the passion of our fans with world-class design and a commitment to creating something truly special on Liverpool’s waterfront. “The stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock will deliver the best possible matchday experience for our fans, new facilities for cultural events and a building that will be a stunning new

addition to Liverpool’s built environment.” Bramley-Moore Dock’s location within Liverpool’s World Heritage Site and its status as a conservation area have been fundamental to how the project has been designed and planned. Working closely with Liverpool City Council and heritage bodies, the stadium has been designed to respect and preserve the heritage of the area, while bringing a derelict dockland site back into productive use. q

Queen’s Park to downsize to Lesser Hampden

[AT THE OTHER END of the football scale from the Premiership, Queen’s Park Football

Club in Glasgow have obtained planning permission for the renovation and upgrading of Lesser Hampden stadium. The club currently owns and plays its home matches at Scotland’s National Stadium, the iconic Hampden Park – despite playing in the Scottish League Two. Later this year ownership of Hampden Park will pass to the Scottish FA and Queen’s Park will no longer be able to play there. Proposed work on the adjacent Lesser Hampden site will see the seating capacity of the stadium increased from approximately 470 to 1,774. The proposal also involves minor alterations to the existing clubhouse, provision of concourse accommodation, toilets and catering kiosks and the refurbishment of the existing Farmhouse and Byre buildings to improve changing facilities to meet SFA standards. The design for the redevelopment has been formulated by architects Holmes Miller. A statement accompanying the planning application read: “In July 2020 ownership of the National Stadium will change to the Scottish FA with Queen’s Park retaining ownership of Lesser Hampden, currently an unlicensed ground. “This means Queen’s Park will no longer be able to play their 1st X1 competitive matches at the National Stadium. The club, therefore, plan to renovate Lesser Hampden to a licensed stadium able to host competitive League and Cup matches.” q


Extend gangmaster rules to help stamp out slavery, says union [CONSTRUCTION UNION UNITE is calling for fundamental changes in

the way that the construction industry is organised, and for the introduction of licensing of gangmasters. The call follows a major exposure of how modernday slavery operates in the industry. The exposé was jointly conducted by Construction News and BBC Three, who deployed undercover journalists from the UK and Romania to reveal the extent of the practice in construction. While concerns about modern-day slavery are usually associated with smaller residential work, Unite believes that the way that the industry operates means that there is a real potential for it to be occurring on even the largest projects. Most tier one contractors on major projects rely on labour supply companies to deliver labour. While there is little scope for modern-day slavery within a reputable labour supply company that employs all of its workers directly, the problem arises when labour supply companies seek to sub-let the recruitment to a third party. That makes it very difficult for the tier one contractor to monitor. Indeed, Unite says it is aware of at least one labour supply company on the massive HS2 project that subcontracted the recruitment of workers to employment agencies, who in turn used a payroll company. That results in there being few, if any realistic checks on who is working on the project, who is actually engaging them, how they were recruited and what terms they are employed under, beyond a check they have the correct passport.

Unite is therefore calling for the gangmasters licensing regime to be extended to construction. Licensing currently only covers agriculture, food processing and shellfish collection. Under the licensing regime, only registered gangmasters and employment agencies can legally supply labour, and only those organisations which meet strict criteria are granted a licence. If an agency or gangmaster is then found to have been mistreating its workers the licence can be swiftly revoked. Companies which operate in the sectors where licensing exists are also required to ensure that they are only working with licensed gangmasters. Unite’s national officer for construction Jerry Swain said: “The revelations about the extent of modern-day slavery and how it operates in construction must be a wake-up call to the industry and government. That is not simply a problem on smaller sites; even the largest sites have the potential for modernday slavery. Major contractors simply don't know who is supplying labour on their sites, how they have been recruited and if they are being coerced. “Until the unnecessarily long labour supply chains are tackled, the potential for modern-day slavery will exist in every area of our industry. “One major way to help tackle the problem is to extend gangmasters licensing to construction and to force the rogue employers out of the industry. The industry needs to be honest; if a labour supply company needs to get a third party to supply the labour, they are not really a labour supply company.” q

Retentions Roadmap gets official CLC backing [THE Construction Leadership Council (CLC) has confirmed its support

for Build UK’s Roadmap to Zero Retentions and encouraged industry to implement the new minimum standards when using cash retentions. The CLC’s support marks another significant milestone for the roadmap, which


sets out specific actions in a phased approach for the construction industry to achieve zero retentions. The Retentions Roadmap proposes a phased approach to moving towards the objective of zero retentions by 2023, and no later than 2025. In its statement, the CLC says: “The practice of withholding cash retentions within the construction sector is controversial. Within the industry and amongst its clients, views are divided as to whether these are an effective and cost-efficient means of providing surety against defects, or whether they are an outdated practice, that increases cash flow pressure on firms in the supply chain and should have no place in a modern industry. The loss of an estimated £223m of retention payments each year due to insolvency alone also has an impact on industry cash flow, funds for investment and profitability. “Whilst there is no clear consensus on the part of the industry as to what should replace retentions, there is a clear majority that believes the current situation is unsustainable and requires reform. In recognition of that, the Construction Leadership Council has decided to take the action of endorsing the Build UK Roadmap to Zero Retentions, which has been developed and is supported by the clients, construction firms and trade associations within the membership of Build UK and CECA, as a means of improving the transparency and fairness of payment practices in relation to retentions.” Recent milestones delivered as part of the roadmap include publication of the retention policies of major public sector clients in November, to provide increased transparency. It followed publication of the Minimum Standards on Retentions in July which aim to reduce the existing challenges with cash retentions. The CLC has urged construction firms and clients to adopt the minimum standards, which incorporate and build on the CLC’s commitment to abolish cash retentions. Andy Mitchell, co-chair of the CLC, said: “The CLC believes that adopting the minimum standards will enable the industry to make progress towards the objective of achieving zero cash retentions by 2025. It will demonstrate commitment to the supply chain, whilst allowing the industry and its clients to adapt and improve standards of quality. “Therefore, the CLC urges firms within the industry and construction clients, in both the public and private sectors, to support the roadmap and adopt the minimum standards, as a pragmatic means of improving prompt and fair payment practices and helping to create a stronger and more sustainable industry.” q

Failed lintel restored to former glory Target designs and installs structural support to 1960s property in Maidenhead


TARGET FIXINGS were contacted by the homeowner’s son to provide a structural repair solution to a 1960s property in Maidenhead, where the masonry on the front elevation had dropped. Upon further investigation, there was also found to be evidence of similar structural movement on the rear of the property. Based on the site investigation conducted by Target’s specialists, it was clear that the masonry above the lounge window on the front elevation had dropped due to a lack of structural support. It was theorised that the original window was of timber or steel construction to provide structural support to the overlying masonry. When this window was removed some 20 years prior, it was replaced by a uPVC window that lacked the strength to adequately support the masonry. As a result, a slump in the window head was now evident. There was also evidence of movement above the window on the rear elevation and some further cracking along the flank wall. It was recommended that the drain by the flank wall be inspected in order to ensure it was in good condition and functioning correctly, and that the rainwater was not adversely affecting the foundations of the house in its vicinity. It was decided that the best result could be achieved by lifting the masonry on the front elevation props before reinforcing with Bar Flex to create a masonry beam, which would hold this new position and provide the required support to prevent this deformation from reoccurring. The dropped masonry was then lifted and the masonry beam was installed as a new lintel. This was implemented by installing Bar Flex into slots cut into the mortar bed joints before repointing to match the existing mortar. Bar Flex is a Grade 304 austenitic stainless steel reinforcing material that

Before (left) and after the repair work has many unique properties. The stainless steel helical material and its bonding agent, Bond Flex, work with the structure rather than against it by allowing some controlled movement. Chris Knight, technical sales specialist for Target Fixings, said: “It was very satisfying to see the project completed from survey to installation, with a positive result and a happy customer.” Target offers a wide range of structural repair services, from simple crack stitching to fully specified solutions for underpinning. Target has been designing and installing solutions for over 20 years, offering stabilisation to properties and historical structures affected by movement resulting from a range of issues including subsidence, moisture ingress, wall tie failure, bowing walls and delamination. q • For further information and advice on materials visit – and for information on installation works visit


Futurebuild 2020: be the catalyst for change


RECENT CLIMATE CHANGE DEMONSTRATIONS and government declarations make one thing clear – we must all come together to take action against the climate change challenges we are facing. Put simply, without collaboration, we will fail. Against this backdrop, Futurebuild 2020 (03–05 March, ExCeL London) will inspire visitors to join fellow industry leaders and innovators to be the catalyst for change that is so urgently needed to help deliver a more sustainable built environment.

Setting the agenda Futurebuild’s highly-regarded conference programme is returning for 2020, bigger and better than ever before. Following a three-day progression, the arena will host a number of sessions focusing on the solving the current climate and ecological crisis. These will be led by politicians, academics and industry shapers. Sessions which are set to be unmissable include ‘Carbon neutral cities of the future’ which will feature a panel including London Mayoral candidate Rory Stewart on day two (04 March). The session will explore the pathway to healthier, more resilient cities. On day one (03 March) the UK climate policy will be scrutinised during the session titled ‘The climate crisis: Where’s the leadership? Do we need degrowth?’. Lead by Aldersgate Group chair Joan Walley, this session will explore the fundamental transformation that is needed to alleviate the climate crisis and will invite input from the audience. While discussions on the conference stage will focus on the biggest issues facing the built environment at a macro level, six keynote stages located across the event will look at the specific challenges impacting Buildings, Offsite, Energy, Interiors, Resourceful Materials and Critical Infrastructure. This programme of solution-driven sessions will share the latest thinking and research, to educate, inform and inspire visitors to make a positive change. Each day, the six stages will host a focused keynote presentation by a recognised expert in their field.

Beyond the stages Around each keynote stage will be an exhibition of innovative brands, offering unique solutions to the challenges discussed in the companion knowledge programme. It will feature some of the largest headline brands in the sector, alongside SMEs and start-up organisations, creating a dedicated platform to connect these companies with forward-thinking specifiers and buyers.


Brands and organisations that are leading the charge when it comes to innovation will be recognised through a dedicated ‘Innovation Trail’. A guided route will take visitors on a journey through the event enabling them to learn more about the latest thinking from Futurebuild’s innovation partners, including ACO Technologies, Smart Systems, CEMEX, Steico and Hadley Group.

The game changers are back Championing innovation is the central purpose of Futurebuild and the 2020 event will see the return of the ‘Big Innovation Pitch’. Hosted across the event, in conjunction with BRE as technical partner, the competition will be the industry’s largest call-out for innovation to date and will identify and celebrate novel new approaches to tackle one of the biggest challenges facing us all. Entrants will present their ground-breaking ideas on each of the six keynote stages on day one, before shortlisted entries go head-to-head in the Arena on day two. A panel of renowned judges will determine the overall winning idea, which will be incorporated into BRE Academy Training and showcased in the BRE Innovation Park. Martin Hurn, event director of Futurebuild, said: “The responsibility for tackling the climate emergency lies in all of our hands and we must collaborate in order to find solutions to secure our future. Futurebuild 2020 provides the perfect platform for forward-thinking decision makers across the built environment to come together and play a key part in driving positive change. “Innovation to us is more than just futuristic concepts, it’s about sharing the latest thinking and ideas, processes and solutions, products and materials. All of these things coming together under one roof at Futurebuild 2020 will inspire people to do things differently and create real change.” q • For more information about Futurebuild 2020, the home of innovation, visit

Know your enemy!

Asbestos training can save lives [LAST YEAR marked 20 years since

asbestos was banned from use in construction in the UK; however, it is estimated that nearly one in four UK construction workers believe they may have been exposed to asbestos fibres. Despite the dangers, a third of workers responding to a survey carried out by the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) – including electricians, carpenters, joiners and roofers – have never checked the asbestos register before starting work on a new site. Nearly half didn’t even know there is a register! Almost one in five respondents said that if they discovered asbestos they wouldn’t be clear about what to do. The survey was commissioned by IOSH to find out how much construction workers know about the hazard. Its findings were revealed on the day it launched its No Time to Lose campaign to tackle asbestos exposure in the world’s workplaces. Britons have the world’s highest chances of dying from mesothelioma, the deadliest asbestos-related cancer. Its chief executive Bev Messinger declared:

“It is unacceptable that, 20 years on from asbestos being banned in Britain, organisations are still potentially putting at risk the lives of employees, their families and other members of the public. Courts fine some of the worst offenders, which causes significant commercial

and reputational damage, but the human costs far outweigh the financial cost. “Thousands die in Britain every year from cancers like mesothelioma, while many more are diagnosed with it. We must also consider the families of these people, who watch their loved ones suffer. All this is preventable through good occupational safety and health. It is time for organisations to wake up and realise how dangerous asbestos is. There are no excuses.” While there is no remedy for those who have been exposed to asbestos – around 5,000 of whom die each year as a result – there is a defence to minimise the risks of being exposed and that is high-quality training. It is axiomatic that those who work in the asbestos surveying and removal industries require specialist training in work techniques and the appropriate precautions and PPE required; however, all workers in all trades involving refurbishment, maintenance or demolition of buildings have a right to be protected as far as is possible from exposure to asbestos, and to receive adequate training in how to protect themselves. q



Despite the ban, asbestos is still lurking in many buildings

[WITH THE BANNING of asbestos as a construction material,

attention turned to managing its presence in the built environment. Almost every building constructed between 1910 and 1999 is certain to have contained asbestos, so the likelihood that those workers carrying out maintenance work or simply managing premises would come into contact with the substance remains high. The Health and Safety Executive estimates that asbestos still kills around 5,000 workers each year – many of whom develop asbestosrelated diseases and cancers years after exposure. In 2012 the regulations regarding asbestos were amended to form the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 (CAR 2012). Regulation 4 of CAR 2012 requires anyone who manages or is responsible for non-domestic premises to be aware of the possible presence of asbestos and to carry out a risk assessment. According to the Asbestos Removal Contractors’ Association, the leading trade body for those working with asbestos: “Awareness could help reduce the number of deaths from asbestos, as although the use of asbestos containing materials was banned in the UK in 1999, it is estimated that over two-million workplaces still contain asbestos.” The duty to manage asbestos is directed at those who manage nondomestic premises: the people with responsibility for protecting others who work in such premises, or use them in other ways, from the risks to ill health that exposure to asbestos causes. Those workers can include a whole spectrum of tradespeople, such as plumbers, roofers, shop fitters, electricians, decorators, heating engineers and many more. The HSE website contains a systematic guide to managing asbestos for dutyholders. The dutyholder can be ‘the owner of the non-domestic premises or the person or organisation that has clear responsibility for the maintenance or repair of non-domestic premises, for example through an explicit agreement such as a tenancy agreement or contract’. Even the issue of what constitutes non-domestic premises can be complicated.

It can include common areas of otherwise domestic premises, such as blocks of flats. HSE describes the Duty to Manage thus: “The duty to manage asbestos is contained in Regulation 4 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012. It requires the person who has the duty (ie the ‘dutyholder’) to: • Take reasonable steps to find out if there are materials containing • asbestos in non-domestic premises; and if so, its amount, where it is • and what condition it is in • Presume materials contain asbestos unless there is strong evidence • that they do not • Make, and keep up to date, a record of the location and condition of • the asbestos-containing materials – or materials which are presumed • to contain asbestos • Assess the risk of anyone being exposed to fibres from the materials • identified • Prepare a plan that sets out in detail how the risks from these • materials will be managed • Take the necessary steps to put the plan into action • Periodically review and monitor the plan and the arrangements to act • on it so that the plan remains relevant and up to date • Provide information on the location and condition of the materials to • anyone who is liable to work on or disturb them There is also a requirement on others to co-operate as far as is necessary to allow the dutyholder to comply with the above requirements.” Training courses for those who manage buildings is available from a number of providers. A list of organisations who either provide training or hold registers of those who do is available on the HSE website. Asbestos awareness training is also available for those tradespeople who may come across, but do not work with or handle, asbestos. For those tradespeople who do work with asbestos – or are even tasked with its encapsulation or removal – the training is on an entirely different level and is provided by specialist providers. q



The killer in our midst has a long history [ASBESTOS WAS KNOWN to the ancients

for its fire retardant properties: the term itself derives from the Greek word meaning ‘inextinguishable’. According to some sources, the ancient Egyptians used it to make the cloths for wrapping the dead before they were buried. Asbestos also has a long history as a building material. Buildings from the time of the Holy Roman Empire have been found to have asbestos-containing materials. The ancients also knew of the material’s dangers. According to training register IATP: “Even though asbestos was widely and commonly used, early civilizations began to link asbestos to rising pulmonary issues documented among workers in mines where

Greek slaves mining asbestos was extracted or by those who handled asbestos while working with textiles. Historians have discovered notes from Ancient Rome that discuss early death and lung

sickness among Roman slaves.” In fact, it was widely known not to buy slaves who had worked in asbestos mines as they would not live long. Production boomed during the 19th century and the material was still in widespread use throughout the 20th century, despite the fact that as early as 1924 the first death was recorded as being due to asbestosis. It wasn’t until 1991 that lawsuits in the US forced a ban there, and in 1994 the World Health Organisation classified mesothelioma as an asbestos-related disease. It has therefore taken nearly 2,000 years for a substance with a known risk to life to be banned from the building industry. q

Independent listing carries only audited training providers [

A COMPREHENSIVE LISTING of organisations providing training in both asbestos awareness and working with asbestos is available on the website of Independent Asbestos Training Providers (IATP). The website offers a dynamic and interactive link between those seeking asbestos training in the UK and those providing it. The IATP website only lists asbestos training providers that have submitted documentary evidence confirming their compliance with the regulations, including independent external audits where necessary. The details of those audits are included with the listings, for clients to check should they wish to. The IATP are an industry-recognised body whose members provide high-quality and consistent asbestos training both nationally and across the world. There are three categories of training for which IATP holds details: • Asbestos Awareness (formerly Type A) • Non-Licensed Asbestos Work (formerly Type B) • Licensed Asbestos Work (formerly Type C) The listing is ordered by region so those looking for training courses can search for providers in their local area. All members are verified and independently audited to ensure that their asbestos training meets an exacting standard and has legally compliant content, along with clear delivery and understanding. Auditing is carried out by independent IATP-approved auditors, a list of which can be found on their website.

Companies who feel they are ready to be a member of IATP will first need to arrange an audit for the particular type of training they offer. Once they have that they will be able to progress to membership. They must have the audit report available before applying. q • To discover more about IATP visit

Training register leads the way [IN NOVEMBER 2018 IATP became a trailblazer in the asbestos

training industry when it became one of the first training organisations to achieve a new industry standard conferred by CITB: Recognised Organisation Status. The status is of benefit to all IATP members – they can apply to become Approved Training Organisations for IATP-recognised courses as part of their membership, saving the significant sum of £750 per member. The recognition also means that their extended network can reap additional benefits – a place on the CITB Construction Training Register or a place on the CITB Construction Training Directory. q



Ignorance of the risks is no defence [THE CONTINUING NEED for awareness training regarding asbestos is

nowhere more starkly illustrated than by the continuing flood of prosecutions by HSE for breaches of the regulations. There were 10 such prosecutions in 2019 alone. Some prosecutions involve the owners of premises failing to manage the material, but an alarming number are of building firms carrying out work on asbestos illegally. As recently as November last year a refurbishment contractor in Oldham, together with the company that owned the premises being refurbished (both owned by the same individual), were fined more than £14,000 plus costs for allowing work to be carried out on the premises (right) despite the fact that chrysotile asbestos had been identified there. The previous month a building contractor and hotelier in South Shields were together fined more than £36,000 after workers refurbishing the bar area of the Sea Hotel in 2018 disturbed asbestos. Following that prosecution, HSE inspector Loren Wilmot explained: “In this case both the client and contractor failed to protect workers from the risks to their health by failing to prevent their exposure to asbestos.” Another construction company to appear before the courts was a Stockportbased housebuilder, prosecuted in May for the illegal removal of asbestoscontaining materials during a demolition. Describing the case, the HSE said: “No record of a notification to HSE to remove asbestos had been received for the site. No details of how the asbestos containing materials were removed or how they were disposed were provided to HSE.” Earlier in the year another case in Oldham concerned the illegal removal of asbestos-containing materials – this time during a garage refurbishment. HSE had been notified by a member of the public of fibrous board outside the property which looked like asbestos insulation board. The material was tested during a site visit and was confirmed as being licensable asbestos containing material. The year began with a bizarre case. An asbestos survey company had been asked by a building contractor to quote for the removal of previously-identified asbestos from a site, only to arrive on site to find the asbestos had already been removed by that very same building firm. Even public bodies are not immune from prosecution. In May Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust were fined after refurbishment work undertaken in an accommodation block at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital exposed trust employees and contractors to asbestos. Telford Magistrates’ Court heard how in June 2012 trust employees were removing fixtures and fittings from an empty flat when they disturbed asbestos containing materials. The trust then failed to take adequate measures to deal with the initial release of asbestos, exposing other contractors who later worked in the flat. The need for building owners to undergo training in asbestos awareness was illustrated by four further cases – two of them, worryingly, involving premises in the hospitality industry. In one a restaurant owner was prosecuted for allowing asbestos insulation board to be removed illegally, while the other involved refurbishment work at a hotel being carried out without an adequate assessment. A further case involved a furniture manufacturing company failing to address concerns around asbestos in its premises. Another prosecution, in the summer, involved the owner of a row of lockup garages who spread asbestos over neighbours’ gardens while jet-washing the garage roofs (right). While in some of the cases it is likely the actions taken were reckless and designed to avoid expense, in others it appears the perpetrators simply weren’t aware that the actions they were taking could put themselves, their employees and the public at risk. q



Egham facility is latest addition to portfolio

[AMONG THE GUESTS attending the opening of Rivermede Court – a

new care facility in Egham – was Professor Martin Green, chief executive of Care England. He joined the home’s general manager Libby Barrett and over 50 guests to officially open the new £8m luxury care home – the latest addition to the portfolio of Cinnamon Care Collection – which offers exceptional residential, dementia and respite care. Rivermede Court is the perfect example of a luxury care home. Its 80 large, luxurious en-suite rooms and superior facilities have been designed to reflect the high standards of care on offer. It is the 12th care home in the Cinnamon Care Collection – named as one of the UK’s Top 20 Care Home Groups in 2019 by industry-leading website Ben Collard, head of development at Cinnamon Care Collection, said: “Egham is an ideal location for our 12th care home. It is close to London and the M25, which means that we attract residents from a wide area. In addition, it is within easy access to nearby places of interest such as Windsor Castle, Richmond Park and the River Thames, which means that we can take our residents on trips where appropriate, which we believe is important in helping them to remain active and connected with the wider community." The design and construction brief for the Egham site, in line with all Cinnamon care homes, was to have a large central hub on the ground floor to include a reception area, cafe/bar, hairdressing facilities and lounge area, with a cinema and balconies on the upper floors. Ben Collard continued: “When you walk into any of our care homes, there should be no discernible difference from a high-end hotel reception. Of course, there are subtle differences in our general facilities, as our design caters for the elderly and frail as well as those living with dementia. We deliver person-centred care and tailor meals and activities to suit the individual.” For the design and build of Rivermede Court, Cinnamon appointed Highwood Group, renowned for construction innovation, and architects Harris Irwin. Both firms have successfully completed previous Cinnamon care homes and are trusted partners of the group. With Rivermede Court, it took 70 weeks from the first spade in the ground to practical completion. The biggest challenge faced by the team was addressing the fact that the area is on a flood plain. Ben Collard explained: “The building has been constructed so that, during a once-in-a-100-year flood, water can flow underneath it as the ground floor is 1.8m above street level. “We have a large storm water attenuation tank as well, which means that surface water is collected and slowly released into the drains to prevent them from overflowing when there is extreme rainfall or severe flooding.” The facilities and services at Rivermede Court have been meticulously planned: from the air-conditioning and combined heat and power unit, with its low-carbon energy production, through to the large living and dining

spaces for residents and the landscape gardens. There are also breakout areas in the dementia area, with themed sections including a garden room and a library, to trigger memories of residents. In a speech at the opening, Professor Green stated: “I am delighted to be here at the start of a wonderful journey that will be so good for people in Egham. The level of detail and little extra touches throughout the building show the high level of care that is so key to what Cinnamon does. It is a privilege to see this fantastic facility and great to see that engagement with the local community has been so central from the outset.” q


Zoe pips the boys to apprenticeship title [NOVEMBER SAW THE crowning of the GB Apprentice of

the Year at the CITB Apprenticeship Awards. The winner was Zoe Evans, a 21-year-old painter and decorator from Llanelli, who was also named Welsh Apprentice of the Year. Zoe took the title ahead of bricklayer Shayne Davis of Trowbridge, who was named Apprentice of the Year for England, and plasterer John McMenamin of Greenock, who is Apprentice of the Year for Scotland. The CITB Apprenticeship Awards celebrate the achievements of apprentices and employers across the UK for their commitment and dedication to construction. The winners were presented with their awards at a ceremony hosted by broadcaster and property entrepreneur Sarah Beeny at Merchant Taylors’ Hall in London on 7 November. Zoe completed a Level 2 apprenticeship in painting and decorating, before going on to achieve her Advanced Level 3. With her artistic flair, Zoe enjoys the creative aspects of her trade and plans to take a career route in interior design. Zoe’s amazing commitment to being the best she can has attributed to her becoming an ambassador for women in construction and being the face of the posters across her college, Coleg Sir Gar. Said Zoe: “I’ve loved every single part of my apprentice journey, from the classroom learning to the practical application and the more creative aspects of the job. I want to thank my mentor Ken MacKay and my employer Ian Williams Ltd. It’s a really good feeling to know that I’ve been recognised in this way. I’d definitely recommend an apprenticeship to anyone willing to work hard, have goals and go full out to achieve them.” Jon Davies, CITB apprenticeship officer, said: “When Zoe started her apprenticeship we saw her potential so we fast tracked her from Level 1 to Level 2. It was important for me to make sure she had the right support to reach the heights she is capable of, and she is doing just that. Zoe makes work a brighter place for everyone around her. Her positive attitude and ability makes her a perfect ambassador for women in construction, and I

am really pleased this has been recognised with her award.” Kevin Mcloughlin, CITB board member and founder and managing director of Mcloughlin Decorating, said: “Congratulations to Zoe, a clearly dedicated apprentice – it’s great to recognise her hard work. Apprenticeships provide a fast track route into the construction industry. With so many rewarding careers opportunities in construction there is something out there for everyone. I wish Zoe all the best in her career in construction.” Other awards were for Inspirational Apprentice of the Year and Specialised Applied Programme Learner of the Year, together with awards for a number of employers and Workplace Mentor of the Year. q

CIOB Student Challenge readies for kick-off [THE Chartered Institute of Building’s Global Student Challenge

2020 has now opened for registration. In this, the seventh year of the competition, the CIOB is seeking teams of full-time students studying either a Higher National Diploma (HND) or Bachelor’s degree in the built environment. The winning team will receive £2,000 in prize money along with access to a unique mentoring programme, with industry leaders offering advice and guidance to support the winning team’s professional development. Since 2014, the competition has challenged built environment students to run their own virtual construction company – with the leaders after six weeks of competition given the opportunity to compete in finals that attract talent from around the world. Caroline Gumble, CEO of the CIOB, said: “The Global Student Challenge is a wonderful opportunity for those taking their first steps into a built environment career to demonstrate the skills they’ve acquired, and their capabilities with strategic thinking and high-level decision making. It’s also a great chance to get valuable experience in navigating through project scenarios that mirror what can happen on site in the real world. I’m very much looking forward to seeing how the challenge plays out next year.”


The competition takes the form of various ‘stages’, kicking off with a Foundation Years stage in January. That is where competitors learn how to play the game: running a virtual construction company, testing out different strategies and refining tactics for the later stages. The CIOB advises that, based on performance in previous years, teams who do well in the competition are the ones who make the most of this stage. The Early Years stage starts a few weeks later. The stakes are higher as teams now play competitively with other teams around the world, making decisions that influence the success of their companies. The finalists will be announced on 7 April, with the finals taking place during the week of the CIOB Members’ Forum in June (exact dates and venue to be confirmed). The competition is only open to full-time students, although there is an allowance of one postgraduate member per team. Teams are normally made up of four members, but three is permissible. Costs for entry are listed online. q • For more information, or to register, visit the Global Student Challenge web site at

Apprentices shine at national skills final [ALSO IN NOVEMBER, nearly 80 construction trainees were in the

spotlight for the final of CITB’s 2019 SkillBuild competition, held at the NEC in Birmingham. SkillBuild is the largest multi-trade competition in the UK, showcasing the talent of construction trainees. It forms a part of WorldSkills UK LIVE, which took place from 20-22 November. WorldSkills covers four industry areas: construction and infrastructure; health, hospitality and lifestyle; digital, business and creative; and engineering and technology. The top scoring age-eligible competitors have the chance to progress on to EuroSkills in Graz, Austria next year. If successful, they will be invited to compete at an international level. The SkillBuild winners received gold, silver and bronze medals in a variety of construction trades: bricklaying, carpentry, furniture and cabinet making, joinery, painting and decorating, plastering, plaster and drywall systems, roof slating and tiling, stonemasonry, and wall and floor tiling. The final day of the competition saw the Inclusive Skills category being contested. It offers the opportunity for learners with special educational

Construction training courses and/ or apprenticeships are available at the following colleges:

needs to showcase their skills. The construction sector included a woodworking category, won by Lewis Hall of Coleg Sir Gar in Anglesey. Celebrity guest at the event was DIY SOS chippy and former apprentice Mark Millar, who delivered a Spotlight Speech. After visiting the construction area, Mark said: “Events like this open people’s eyes and give them a glimpse into a career in construction. We put roofs over people’s heads and can be proud of what we do. The world is your oyster if you qualify with an apprenticeship.” Sarah Beale, CITB chief executive, added: “It’s fantastic to see a group of talented people from across the nations come together for the national final. SkillBuild is one of the many ways we can demonstrate the level of expertise within the industry, and attract more young people into a rewarding career in construction.” Global workwear brand Dickies acted as sponsor of the national final, providing clothing and safety footwear for all the staff and contestants, as part of its effort to support the next generation of tradespeople. q

Leeds College of Building T: 0113 222 6061 E: W:

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Limited offsite take-up? On the contrary, the modular industry is thriving Despite recent reports that suggest government departments are not adopting a presumption in favour of offsite, research commissioned by the Modular and Portable Building Association (MPBA) shows that volumetric modular construction is undergoing a period of considerable growth. Here, MPBA chief executive JACKIE MAGINNIS examines the uptake in modular construction.

[OVER 50% OF our membership provided

detailed financial information to support the MPBA’s survey report, commissioned through the University of Salford. The market intelligence from 2018-19 provides evidence of a turnover in the modular and portable building sector that exceeds £2,956m. That figure excludes the turnover from major players who have recently entered the volumetric modular arena, including banking giant Goldman Sachs investing £75m into modular housing business TopHat, as well as Japan’s biggest housebuilder striking a multi-million-pound deal that will see Sekisui House partner with Homes England and Urban Splash: that agreement will see a £55m investment into Urban Splash. But the largest deal by far was revealed by ilke Homes, involving a £100m agreement with Places for People. As volumetric modular systems make up 60-70% of offsite construction, those solutions arguably form a modern method of construction (MMC) that is experiencing entirely different growth trends from those of other offsite approaches.

annum. Modular construction has proven to be best suited to meet such a demand due to its repeatability of units, environmentallyconscious methodology and minimal disruption to existing school facilities. Meanwhile, complex construction projects throughout the leisure sector require developers to cut costs, improve timelines and reduce onsite risks, while maintaining building quality and durability. Modular construction is again best positioned to achieve that through its high performance, timeline savings of up to 25% and net savings of circa 7%. Perhaps most challenging, the housing sector relies on modular and volumetric construction to work towards solving the housing crisis. Law firm Pinsent Masons report that 15,000 modular homes are already built every year. The Guardian reports that the government proposes to make modular construction key to the building of 300,000 new homes per year by the mid2020s. We can see that volumetric modular is already core to government plans for the future.

Responses to limited offsite take-up

Architectural creativity

Respondents to the lack of government contracts with offsite components awarded in 2019 include Miles Rowland, chairman of the Construction Leadership Council, who states that government departments must align with offsite construction methods if we are to improve productivity, overcome the skills shortage and reduce carbon footprint. Despite the research, there is balancing evidence to suggest that the government remains supportive of modern methods of construction. For instance, Mark Farmer – who leads the government's MMC plans – has announced the launch of the high-tech ‘construction corridor’, which is set to generate an annual £40bn and employ 80,000. Housing Minister Esther McVey has emphasised that: “It’s vital that we invest in new technology to get Britain building. Homes built using modern methods can be of higher quality, greener and built to last.”

Many contemporary architects are embracing volumetric modular to achieve striking facades with bespoke designs – hugely beneficial across all sectors. If we take a wider viewpoint on the adoption of modern methods of construction, it is clear that many project developers are already making good use of volumetric and modular technologies to achieve productive, successful outputs; and plan to build on that.

About MPBA

Thriving modular construction

The MPBA plays a key role in the connecting of sectors in the modular and portable building industry. The association collaborates with specialist technical advisors to enhance innovation in the design and manufacture of modular buildings. These can be designed and manufactured from timber, steel or concrete; in any size and shape to meet individual client needs, while ensuring full compliance with building regulations. q

The MPBA report shows that the volumetric modular industry is thriving across all sectors. For example, at the heart of the education sector the Priority School Building Programme requests 450 new school facilities per

• To discover how modular building can benefit offsite construction plans or to purchase the MPBA 2019 industry report, visit


Would you turn down a 24:1 return on investment? By MAGGIE FENNELL, Product Development Manager at Boningale Nurseries

[THERE IS INCREASING evidence that well

designed and managed green spaces will provide at least a £24 cost saving for every £1 spent on them. What’s the catch? This is an area attracting lots of research, but it is difficult to model, largely because soft landscapes are more versatile and changeable than hard landscapes. What exactly counts as a well-managed landscape? Does a wildflower meadow always provide better returns than a lawn? These answers depend on tailoring the landscape to the needs of relevant users. To harness maximum potential value, a public green space or park needs to attract as many different types of people as possible. It needs to be safe, welcoming and appropriate for the needs of the local community. If you are creating a green space for your office premises, ensure that it provides the best possible views of nature for workers and clients, breakout spaces for workers to socialise, bicycle parking and access, and information about habitat features.


Many of the studied benefits are expressed in terms of cost savings to public services, but one of the most exciting aspects is the increase in productivity. When you create your green space, observe the drop in sick days or GP visits, and monitor the improved concentration and wellbeing of staff or residents who are using green areas. Mental health improvements and stress alleviation are worth tracking because increased access to nature lowers cortisol levels. Boningale provides one crucial ingredient of this recipe for success: the plants. Our work with the University of Sheffield has established some of the best ways to optimise roof space with plug planting. We now offer a low maintenance planting system, combining the aesthetic values of particular perennial and wildflower species with the water management performance of engineered substrate. This provides maximum environmental and social gains, even in awkward spaces (as pictured). Ask our commercial horticultural experts about

anything from green roof planting to the best tree species for car parks and urban streets. This will ensure you are getting the best value for money from every square metre of your property’s footprint. q • Albrighton-based Boningale Nurseries is an award-winning national plant supplier to commercial landscaping projects, and is at the forefront of green roofing innovations and other pioneering environmental landscaping systems. For further information, contact Maggie Fennell on 01902 376500 or visit

Visitor centre blends natural habitat with industrial heritage

[WORK IS CURRENTLY underway on a new visitor and education

centre at Camley Street Natural Park in the London Borough of Camden, for the London Wildlife Trust. The £1.4m structure has been designed by Erect Architecture and is being constructed by Ash Contracting Ltd to a 26-week schedule. The new timber frame building, with external works, will be in keeping with the surrounding area and natural habitat. Camley Street Natural Park is a protected nature reserve and Site of Interest in Nature Conservation (SINC) in the middle of the Kings Cross regeneration area. The new Heritage Lotteryfunded learning centre will enable the London Wildlife Trust to engage with up to 40,000 people per year. The visitor centre acts as a gatehouse, greeting visitors to the park. It is situated on the northern edge of the site to minimise impact on the existing eco-systems and biodiversity. The new building comprises a large multi-purpose learning space, which can be sub-divided, a volunteer room with a direct relationship with the nature reserve and a small office. There are high-quality access and welfare facilities for disabled people and a small cafe kiosk serves both internal and external areas. The building has been designed to double function for event hire such as weddings in the natural yet industrial innerLondon setting. The design of the building has been inspired by both nature conservation and the historical use of the site as a Victorian coal drop. Designers Erect Architecture said: “The roof form, with three extended ‘hoppers’, takes inspiration from the industrial heritage of the site, where coal hoppers transferred the material from rail to barge. The chimneys are biodiversity habitats, where bats and swifts nest under the extended fins. “Internally the chimneys offer sky views and optimum daylight levels to contribute to a building with excellent sustainability credentials and create interest. The largest and most public internal space – the learning studio – has a generous ceiling height with two rooflight chimneys.” The levels along the eastern canal edge and the new footbridge are higher than the site, which means the majority of visitors look down onto the building, calling for a sculptural roofscape. It is paramount that the roof offers interest – a visible volume that will be appealing and attractive to visitors from across the canal. A smaller chimney sits above the ‘gatehouse’ – the part of the building that accommodates offices and volunteers – looking towards Camley Street. At a more human scale it greets all visitors entering site.

Key materials are slate for the roof and dark sawn timber cladding for the façade. The learning studio is lined with limed timber panelling.

Sustainability The building has excellent sustainability credentials. The approach is based on simple passive principles, complemented by established technology that is well understood, easy to operate and maintain. Key measures include a super-insulated building envelope that has low air permeability and is naturally ventilated, with secure façade ventilators for passive night cooling. Rooflights provide naturally day-lit spaces, while all artificial lighting will be by high-efficiency LEDs. Rainwater collected from the building and surrounding hard standing is discharged into a pond within the park, while lowflow taps and dual-flush toilets encourage lower water consumption. As the site is in such close proximity to major transport links such as St Pancras and King Cross Station, Ash Contracting is urging staff and subcontractors to utilise public transport where possible to reduce carbon footprint. Ash have also investigated measures they can take to cause minimal disruption to the surrounding wildlife and to support the local area. Project managers and quantity surveyors are Huntley Cartwright, mechanical and electrical engineers are Richie + Daffin and the structural engineers are Entuitive. q


NASC launches 2020 Yearbook [

THE NASC HAS launched its 2020 Yearbook – showcasing more confederation news and updates than ever before. The Yearbook features a round-up of NASC standing committee outputs, more than 30 pages of NASC awards submissions and a comprehensive listing of full contracting NASC members. Robin James, NASC managing director, said: “We are delighted to launch the NASC Yearbook, which this year is more keenly targeted at key decision makers in the construction supply chain, with editorial focused on raising awareness and understanding of what the NASC does, examples of the expertise and innovation shown by our members and why all this matters to the wider construction industry. “I’d like to thank all those members that submitted copy for inclusion – showcased on the Project of the Year pages – and also those that took advertising space.” In addition to the 96 page printed version, an e-reader version is available to view at and via the ‘About’ page of the NASC website at q

Scaffolding trade body launches armed forces training pot [ ARMED FORCES PERSONNEL are

being given a greater incentive to build a career in the scaffolding industry through the creation of a £150,000 pot dedicated to training and upskilling former servicemen. The fund has been set up by the National

Access and Scaffolding Confederation as part of wider efforts to create more scaffolding career opportunities for exmilitary personnel. Through the funding pot, NASC members can claim up to £1,000 towards the retraining or upskilling of an ex-forces employee. This can be to cover the cost or partial cost of one course or several shorter duration courses and can be used in full on one individual or smaller payments on several individuals. NASC president Lynn Way said: “Through the funding pot alone we’re hoping to bring 1,500 new recruits into the scaffolding industry – setting them off on the first step of their post-forces careers as scaffolders, designers, H&S professionals and a number of other vocations. “We’ll also be looking to adapt and expand this proposition in the coming months if and when we manage to have scaffolding training included as an option for spending ELCAS funding on. “We’re in this for the long haul and are committed to helping as many exforces personnel as possible take up a position in the scaffolding industry.” q


New NASC contracts committee chair confirmed [

MATTHEW COUSINS, director at Apex Scaffolding (Exeter) Ltd, has been appointed chair of the NASC Contracts Committee. Mr Cousins (pictured) succeeds David Brown, commercial director of IBN Scaffold Access Ltd, who has stepped down from the role to take up the position of NASC vice president. While both standing committee members have seen their NASC responsibilities increased, they will continue to serve the confederation by sitting on external committees. Mr Cousins will remain as the NASC’s representative on the Contractors Legal Group (CLG) while Mr Brown will keep his position on the Joint Contracts Tribunal (JCT) council. Robin James, NASC managing director, said: “I’d like to thank David Brown for his service on the Contracts Committee, which he has chaired since 2016 and been an active member of since 2012. “During his time as chair he has overseen a major overhaul of existing contractual guidance titles and the creation of new titles as well. “We are sure that while Matthew Cousins has large shoes to fill, he is more than equipped to tackle this role and continue the excellent work of the Contracts Committee.” q

Safety equipment winners honoured at AGM [

THE WINNERS of the 2019 FASET Awards were announced at the trade body’s AGM event on 28 November. FASET (Fall Arrest Safety Equipment Training) represents the safety net rigging and temporary safety systems industry. The winners and those highly commended in four categories were independently judged by a panel of respected figures in the industry: Jo-Anne Michael of the Construction Sector Safety Unit, Gary Walpole of the NFRC, Mark Keily CMIOSH, QHSE, director of Nationwide Platforms, and FASET managing director Tony Seddon.

“The AGM and Awards are a great celebration of the hard work of member companies and individuals and we would like to convey our congratulations to those nominated for an award and, of course, those highly commended and winners. All involved in FASET should be very proud of what they achieve – regardless of whether they entered or won an award – because they ensure that construction site workers in the UK go home safely to their families, every day.” In addition to the awards, FASET were also proud to have a new charity target for 2019 – the No Falls Foundation. The evening was rounded off nicely with entertainment from awardwinning Britain’s Got Talent comedian, Nick Page. q

The FASET Staff Merit Award (sponsored by CSCS) was jointly awarded to Kevin Mooney and Robert Bennett of Onestop Safety Netting & Edge Protection. The FASET Health Safety and Training Award (sponsored by Spanset) was jointly awarded to TRAD Safety Systems for their temporary trap door access system and Beresford’s Flooring for their safety net recovery bag. The FASET Excellence of Work Award (sponsored by Huck Nets) went to PMC Safety Netting Ltd for their work on Drax Power Station. The Contribution to FASET Award (sponsored by Leon De Oro) was awarded to FASET’s health, safety and technical chairman, Mark Keily of Nationwide Platforms, for the unwavering support he has given to FASET. Earlier in the day, the FASET AGM featured updates on the work of the trade body in 2019 and a wide range of external speakers on work at height, CITB grant availability and mental health, plus a very popular demonstration of the innovative, new air bag net recovery system by new event sponsors, Brilliant Ideas. The organisation’s managing director Tony Seddon said: “The work of FASET members – sub-contracting and training – is often extremely challenging, complex and is far from simple. And we shouldn’t forget: what they do every day saves lives. That fact cannot be understated.


Scaffolding award tops off a fine centenary year [LAST YEAR was a year of celebration for

leading scaffolding company Palmers Scaffolding UK Ltd. It marked the centenary of the firm’s incorporation, culminating in a brace of awards. Back in 1919 Edwin Palmer took the decision to transform his family-owned scaffolding and access business into a company: formally establishing it as the legal business structure it still is today. It is also now again under British ownership, with well-known scaffolding man and entrepreneur Colin Butt at its helm as CEO. Colin commented: “I am delighted to be involved in this marvellous anniversary, and particularly to have returned ownership of this long-established business to British hands.” The business was formed in 1880 and since then has become a specialist in providing longterm infrastructure and industrial scaffolding and access contracts. For 140 years the Palmers brand has provided that quality service across all industries, working on some of the most important sites and prestigious projects within the airport, petrochemical, power generation, construction, marine, nuclear and railway market sectors. They are now the foremost experts in speciallydesigned access solutions. Managing director Donald Morrison speculated: “I wonder what hopes and dreams Edwin Palmer had when Palmers was incorporated 100 years ago, having been trading since 1880? “I believe we have built a reputation for excellence in the provision of our services, working safely and with commitment to our clients. Of course, we wouldn’t have been able to achieve this success without our

whole team, past and present. We have really excellent staff retention rates as a business and are delighted to say that more than 10% of our workers have over 15 years service with us. Here’s to the next 100.” The icing on the cake of the centenary year came when Palmers was named runner-up in the NASC’s Project of the Year Award (below). The accolade came for their innovative special access and scaffolding provision for main contractor Balfour Beatty on the renovation project for the rooflights on Heathrow Airport’s Terminal 4 building.

The announcement came at the NASC’s annual ball and awards dinner at the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport on 22 November. The temporary works on the roof of Heathrow Terminal 4 consisted of a Palmers in-house scaffold structure, developed and designed to match Balfour Beatty’s exacting requirements to provide access and weather protection – ensuring that the major glazing project to replace the rooflights was unaffected by weather while protecting the general public in the terminal. The structure incorporated lifting solutions and an intricate mobile temporary roof with mobile gondolas. The structure had already netted Palmers a Design and Quality Award from Balfour Beatty and was featured on the front cover of Construction National’s autumn 2019 issue. Palmers’ divisional manager for airports, Tony Mileham, commented: “This outstanding Palmers airport job has been shown off by Balfour Beatty and Heathrow to many on the site, so it’s great to see it being given wider recognition. “The project involved more than 500 tons of equipment being craned on and off the roof, from very tight, limited craning locations. And with all work being conducted at night under a strict permit system, on a live airport with tight security restrictions in place, it was another challenging piece of temporary works and logistics for the Palmers airports division.” q


CISRS cards to go smart [ CISRS CARDS HAVE been brought into the 21st century thanks to a new partnership between

CISRS and NOCN Job Cards. Anyone making a CISRS application will now receive both a plastic card and a virtual card, which they can access via any smart phone or device. By tapping the card on their phone, cardholders can see all their details, including photo, qualifications and courses taken. The app is secure and can be kept on the phone so the individual has proof of their card at all times. It will also notify cardholders of renewal notifications to simplify the process. A virtual ‘card wallet’ will enable multiple cards to be stored on a single device, allowing contractors to easily collate their operatives’ details and access them as required. David Mosley, CISRS managing director, said: “We have been talking about smart technology for several years. With the forced change in service provider it seemed to be the right time to bring the scheme up to date. We believe the new cards will give added value to operatives, scaffolding contractors and end users.” q

Stay safe at height with CISRS scaffolding awareness training [A NEW ONE-DAY Scaffolding Awareness course aimed at non-

scaffolding operatives and other construction workers is now being offered at a range of CISRS training centres across the country. The course is open to any operatives who have cause to work on scaffolding – such as painters, bricklayers, electricians and plumbers – and those wanting to gain a better understanding of scaffolding operations – which could include site supervisors, engineers, procurement and health and safety professionals and principal contractors. The course, created by the Construction Industry Scaffolders Record Scheme, will provide attendees with a greater understanding and appreciation of the potential dangers of working at height on scaffolds and enable them to identify the core components of a safe scaffold. It is being delivered by CISRS accredited centres nationwide. Delegates will be issued with a CISRS Scaffolding Awareness • To find a CISRS Scaffolding Awareness course near you visit the website certificate upon successful completion of the course. at Please contact the centres directly for CISRS administrator Laura Weekes said: “This classroom-based information about course availability and costs. course provides learners with a basic understanding of what compliant scaffolding looks like and guidance on how they can work at height safely. “It comes in response to the publication of the NASC Safety Report 2019 and broader construction industry accident statistics published by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE). “The latest NASC Safety Report shows that NASC full contracting members continue to erect and dismantle scaffolds of all shapes and sizes in an extremely safe and legally compliant manner, resulting in zero operative fatalities for the sixth year in succession. “However, a recent HSE report revealed that 40 people died as a result of a fall from height during 2018/2019, making this the biggest cause of workplace fatal injuries in Great Britain. “Clearly there is a need for greater awareness of the dangers of working at height. We hope our new course will contribute to this effort.” q



Additional scaffolder New ‘go to’ safety training available guide published [THE PROVISION OF CISRS scaffolding training across the UK has been

increased through the launch of two new centres. AIS Training has recently opened training facilities in Dyce, Aberdeen and Pyle, South Wales. The centre in Dyce will play host to a variety of CISRS courses including the one-day COTS course, Inspection courses, Mandatory CPD, Supervisor and Scaffold Awareness programme. David John Adams, AIS operations manager, said: “This new facility will service the requirement of the offshore, industrial and construction sectors in the north east of Scotland and also give scaffolders and scaffolding contractors another location in the UK to undergo their training.” David Mosley, CISRS managing director, added: “I’d like to congratulate AIS Survivex on gaining CISRS accreditation for their new training centre in Dyce. Through this new facility the availability of a wide range of scaffolder training courses in Scotland has been significantly increased.” The Aberdeen launch comes shortly after a similar opening in Pyle. This centre offers Scaffold Awareness, COTS, Inspection, Supervisors and CPD courses. AIS is looking to increase course availability in South Wales as well as provide additional on-site training, having recently delivered courses for KAEFER Ltd at Barry Island. q

[THE Construction Industry Advisory Council (CONIAC) has

produced a guide designed to help anyone looking to ensure safe work at height. Safety Steps is aimed primarily at five key work at height audiences: designers, clients, managers (those who manage work at height), supervisors and operatives. The document has been produced by the Managing Risk Well Group, a leading safety group within CONIAC. It can be used to help produce output such as training materials, flow charts/infographics, toolbox talks/checklists, poster/sticker campaigns, social media campaigns, rules, guidelines and articles. Paul Reeve CFIOSH, chair of the sub-group that produced the document, commented: “Safety Steps provides the essential safety messages for the five key groups involved in work at height in construction and maintenance. It’s designed as an ‘enabling’ guide, meaning it can help anyone to produce – or just check – virtually any type of output that’s looking to support safe work at height. “A key aim of the document is to help do away with continually redefining or looking for the essential messages for ensuring safe work at height. Safety Steps provides the key messages in one place, making it a valuable, long-term reference point for industry.” Peter Bennett OBE, chair of the Access Industry Federation, which is hosting the document at, commented: “Safety Steps clearly explains – for everyone involved in the stakeholder chain – what they need to know about safe working at height: all in one easy-to-access, easy-to-use resource. We believe it could become a long-term ‘go to’ resource for the industry.” q

Altus Safety celebrates three years of success [SAFETY AT HEIGHT EXPERTS, Altus Safety, is celebrating the company’s third anniversary

with figures that reveal the business is on track for a £2 million turnover by the end of this year, from a standing start in August 2016. Established by directors Simon Mealor and Mark Weaver, who met while working at one of Altus Safety’s competitors, the company has completed more than 500 safety at height installations over the past three years. The pair have grown the business from a partnership to a full time team of 12, along with five installation teams, and Altus Safety has delivered projects for around 300 customers to date. Simon Mealor said: “Having both worked in the safety at height sector for a decade, Mark and I spotted an opportunity to offer genuine expertise along with excellent customer service – and it seems that the marketplace was ready for a service-driven approach because we haven’t had a quiet week since. “We turned over £950K within our first 18 months in business, opened a second office in Reading to serve South East projects after just three months and, last year, became an MSA Latchways approved installer – gaining a deal that allows us to install and inspect the industry’s most prestigious brand of safety at height systems. Not bad going for a fledgling start up.” The MSA Latchways deal recognised Altus Safety’s professionalism and service-led approach to site surveys, installations and maintenance. It has become a springboard for growth over the past year, with the company now working with some of the UK’s most successful construction and roofing contractors, along with a wide range of facilities management companies, local authorities and building owners/occupiers. Mark Weaver added: “We have always taken a ‘no job too big or too small’ approach to the business, which means we deliver the same high levels of responsive service for a one-off installation as we do for large multi-site projects, such as the full safety at height audit we’ve just completed for a major retailer across more than 40 locations. “Specialist expertise, a focus on service and the ambition to grow have been at the heart of our success over the past three years and we’re looking forward to seeing what lies in store as we work towards the company’s next milestones.” q

•For further infomation call 0330 113 0870, email or visit


Roofers make their pitch for fame and glory [ROOFS NEW AND OLD were cause for celebration at the 2019 Pitched

Roofing Awards on 5 December. The awards, presented by RCI Magazine, recognise the achievements and skills of those working on that most familiar of skylines, pitched roofs. There were 12 awards in all, reflecting the wide diversity of pitched roofing work. Winners were recognised for quality, professionalism and the finest workmanship. They were judged by a panel of independent industry experts, who had their work cut out when deciding which entries had that extra special something that was worthy of an award. Alongside awards for domestic and commercial roofs using both slate and

tiles, heritage skills were recognised with categories for Roof Tile Application for a Heritage Roof and both lead and hard metal applications. Specialist skills were also rewarded with awards for Best Solid Conservatory Roof System, Domestic and Commercial Building Applications Using Rooflights and Best Use of a Cedar Shingles Application. There was also an award for Outstanding Contribution to the Roofing Industry. That went to Denise Cherry, training officer at the Yorkshire Independent Roof Training Group. The awards were presented at a ceremony at the Midland Hotel in Manchester, hosted by comedian, impressionist and actor Luke Kempner. q

SnapIT Express – the swifter-to-fit modern aluminium system [RAINCLEAR SYSTEMS, the UK’s leading specialist metal rainwater system stockist and online retailer, have introduced SnapIT Express, a modern aluminium rainwater system with an innovative ‘snap together and inject silicone’ system that saves mess, waste and time. Aluminium gutters are generally known for being a modern, natural product which is fully recyclable, but non-corrosive, and offers a lightweight, strong and durable solution, with very little maintenance required. SnapIT Express is a high quality, extruded aluminium gutter system made using high-quality aluminium. In addition, by choosing aluminium over plastic, you open up the choice of a massive range of colours. It is available in half-round beaded profile in sizes 115mm and 125mm with next day delivery in Matt Black and within 10 days in

seven standard RAL colours: Red Oxide RAL 3009; Anthracite Grey RAL 7016; Traffic Red RAL 3020; Light Grey RAL 7035; Gentian Blue RAL 5010; and Chestnut Brown RAL 8015. SnapIT Express has a contemporary clean look with internal unions and a high flow capacity – and is lightweight and easy to install. It is expected to last in excess of 60 years with minimal maintenance and can also be bespoke polyester powder coated to the customer’s choice of over 200 BS/RAL colours. SnapIT Express is innovatively engineered with a simple, swifter, jointing system that has no bolts, silicone residue or waste. There are no visible welds, for a sleeker finish, with adjustable brackets offering greater onsite flexibility. It has a long life, making it a cost-effective choice.

Trim off the nozzle so it fits snug in the large holes in the base of the union, then inject the special low modulus sealant supplied into one until the sealant appears at both of the smaller holes at the rim of the union. Repeat the action on the other large hole. The injectable silicone means no mess and no waste, but you'll need the recommended silicone so Rainclear are including it for free along with 20% off when purchased. q For more, watch the installation video at Visit to shop for all metal rainwater, drainage and roofline systems requirements and for further information call 0800 644 44 26 or email


Road map charts the role of heat pumps in decarbonisation [ THE Heat Pump Association (HPA) has launched a Roadmap

for the Role of Heat Pumps. The report, written by Ecuity under the supervision of the HPA, highlights the role that heat pumps can play in the decarbonisation of heating. The Government has announced its target of Net Zero by 2050, without being clear about the route to get there, says the HPA. The key elements will need to be decarbonisation of the grid, heating and transport. According to the Heat Pump Association: “The UK has already made rapid progress on decarbonising the electricity grid; however, we have made almost no progress on decarbonising heating. Over 80% of homes in the UK still burn gas for heating,

with the remainder mostly burning oil or LPG. The burning of fossil fuels is the heart of the problem as burning fossil fuels yields CO2. “The only clear route to decarbonising heating is via the electrification of heating and the most efficient way to use electricity for heating is by using heat transfer – that means using heat pumps. “The UK has been very slow to adopt heat pumps compared to other European nations. Only 18,000 heat pumps were installed in the UK in 2018. Sweden, with a population of only a fifth of the UK, installed five times as many heat pumps in 2018.” The Ground Source Heat Pump Association has welcomed the report which, it says, sets a path for decarbonising heating in our route to Net Zero by 2050. q

Install heat pumps under parks, say campaigners [A CHARITY BASED in Hackney, North London, is proposing that the heat absorbed by

the ground in public parks in summer should be transferred to buildings in winter, using ground source heat pumps. Possible – the new name for what was 10:10 Climate Action – has calculated that the ground beneath parks, playing fields and public green spaces could be used to supply 30GW of heat to keep buildings warm and save over 8 million tonnes of carbon emissions each year. Possible's webpage on powering parks includes a video explaining ground source energy. It also explains the rationale and includes a link to its new report on the art of the possible. The initiative has been welcomed by the Ground Source Heat Pump Association, which has said its members would be pleased to work with local authorities to realise the plan for ‘making decarbonising heating in the UK possible’. According to the charity Possible: “Our new report shows how putting heat pumps beneath our parks and playing fields could supply enough clean heat to keep the equivalent of 5 million homes warm. That would save a massive 8 million tonnes of carbon emissions each year, helping us to tackle climate change, improve air quality and generate income for councils and park authorities to re-invest locally.” It points out that, while parks are the perfect place to take kids to play, enjoy a quiet stroll or have a kick about, they also cost money to maintain – something councils have less and less of. They are also home to a large amount of ambient heat, stored in the ground below the lawns and playing fields. “We can harvest this low carbon thermal energy for our buildings with the help of heat pumps,” says Possible. “A heat pump is a cunning device for collecting the ambient heat all around us – in the air, the ground or bodies of water – concentrating it and pumping it into spaces we need to warm like schools, leisure centres or housing blocks.” They are encouraging people who work for local authorities to contact them to find out more about installing heat pumps in parks – email q



Peugeot partners its way to multiple success


THE PEUGEOT PARTNER has won the What Van? Light Van of the Year award for the second year running. Partner was launched in the UK at the beginning of 2019, having already won the prestigious 2019 International Van of the Year award. The complete Partner range includes panel van models in two different lengths – standard and long – and is available in four different trim levels: S, Grip, Professional and Asphalt. A crew van is the latest addition to the long range and offers three additional seats, with a folding bulkhead to give the flexibility of different seating and load-carrying layouts as required. Standard equipment for all panel van models includes ESC with hill start assist, ABS braking – including emergency brake assist – remote central locking with deadlocks and separate locking for the cab, a full bulkhead, driver’s airbag, electric front windows, electrically adjustable door mirrors, full size spare wheel, head-up display and compact steering wheel, automatic headlights, DAB radio, Bluetooth and USB socket, Peugeot Connect SOS and Assistance, six load area tie-down hooks and an overhead storage shelf in the cab. Safety options include front and rear parking sensors and surround rear vision, which includes passenger side and rear cameras to provide visibility all around the vehicle. The Partner’s innovative driver assistance systems also caught the judges’ eyes. It includes an overload indicator that warns drivers if the van has been overloaded, helping them to avoid associated dangers as well as potential prosecution. Overloading a van can cause

excess wear to braking, suspension and transmission components and increase fuel consumption. The Partner also stands out for its exclusive – and world-first adoption in its segment – of the Peugeot i-Cockpit, offering a new driving experience for greater productivity. Every professional will be able to set up their own configuration, allowing them to work more effectively for their own needs. That includes the Grip version, which is designed for arduous environments, or the Asphalt version, enhancing comfort and safety with technology features for those who spend a lot of time in their vehicle. The accolade follows on from the Partner scooping the prestigious Van of the Year title in the first Company Van Today awards. Company Van Today’s editor Tom Webster eulogised the van’s qualities. “The all-new Peugeot Partner has proven itself to be a capable, innovative and efficient vehicle, all of which are qualities appreciated by the business community,” he said. “Couple that with new levels of driver appeal and technology and it’s easy to see why the all-new Peugeot Partner is a clear choice as our CVT Van of the Year.” The Company Van Today Awards reward the best vehicles in the industry: those light commercial vans that offer fleets a combination of great running costs, high quality, efficiency and clever features that help businesses do their jobs. Carefully selected by the Company Van Today editorial team with decades of combined experience in the sector, the winners are those that can best serve a business audience. q

Panel van adds a few expert touches [THE PARTNER’S larger sibling, the Peugeot Expert, has joined it in the ranks of award winners with the Medium LCV of the Year accolade at the Commercial Fleet Awards for the second year in a row. The award was presented by TV presenter Kate Thornton at a ceremony staged at the National Motorcycle Museum in September. The award was shared with the Dispatch van from sister brand Citroën. Far from resting on its laurels, however, the Expert has continued to develop, with the launch of the electric e-EXPERT in November. The e-EXPERT demonstrates that Peugeot is increasingly committed to electrifying its models in order to achieve its ambition of a 100% electrified LCV range by 2021. Two levels of range – 124 miles and 186 miles WLTP – will allow customers to select a vehicle which suits their daily driving needs, with the majority of business professionals commuting less than 186 miles a day. Furthermore, to celebrate the festive season, Peugeot introduced a new flagship Sport Edition variant to the Expert Panel Van and Crew Van model ranges. The Expert Sport Edition versions will be positioned above the Asphalt variants and will benefit from even more standard equipment. Additional equipment includes: 17-inch Black Phoenix alloy wheels, sports decals on the sides and rear of the van and dual zone automatic air conditioning. Expert Sport Edition will be available in three colours: Cumulus Grey, Bianca White and Nera Black. All models will be based on the Expert standard wheelbase. q


Development reaps the reward of Passivhaus compliance


AN INNOVATIVE SEAFRONT DEVELOPMENT of eight luxury apartments at Seaton in Devon, built to Passivhaus standards, has won Best Sustainable Residential Development in the UK title in the International Property Awards. Seaton Beach is also the first multi-block development in the UK to be certified as Passivhaus Plus. The development is one of just over 300 fully-certified Passivhaus projects constructed in the UK in the past 15 years. Passivhaus applies a rigorous, voluntary standard for energy efficiency, which results in ultra-low energy buildings, reducing their ecological footprint. With a constant supply of silently-circulated filtered fresh air, solar panels to minimise the running costs and reduce the carbon footprint, triple glazing, extra insulation and airtight construction, the Seaton Beach apartments are full of light, cool in the summer and warm in the winter – using 90% less energy that a typical new build. The developers also met the Lifetime Homes criteria, which allow for the property’s design to be made so people can utilise the apartments as a ‘forever home’. In addition, a Secured by Design Gold Award guarantees the incorporation of features that will enhance the owners’ physical security and protection against crime. Seaton is a very low crime area; however the award future-proofs the development, much the same as the allocated

secure parking that is pre-wired for charging electric cars. The International Property Awards judges praised the fact that Seaton Beach apartments respect and reflect the beauty of Seaton’s coastline and the surrounding countryside. Their striking, contemporary yet sympathetic design offers the apartments the special qualities of space and light in the interior, which are more than matched outside by the spectacular balcony sea views along the coastline. The elements of the beautiful vista are incorporated into the design by adding curves into the sea front balconies to mirror the shape of the bay. Seaton Beach managing director Mike Webb said of the award: “To be recognised by our industry peers for our Passivhaus apartment block is a great honour. Not many UK developers build to this standard from Germany, now over 30 years old and globally recognised. We could have taken the traditional route; however we believed it was the right way forward for the environment. Our new owners will experience extremely low bills with very high comfort levels.” Mike, who re-trained as a certified Passivhaus consultant, plans to help other self-builders and developers achieve the standard as well, offering a unique ‘try before you build’ consultancy service. q

New build registrations grow despite fall in private builds

HBF hosts Environment Summit

[THE NHBC has reported an end-of-year fillip for the housebuilding

sector, with more than 16,000 new homes registered to be built by the UK’s builders and developers in November – 7% more than the previous 12 month period. In total, 16,175 new developments were registered with NHBC. Of those, 10,662 were in the private sector (down from 11,036 in 2018) and 5,513 were in the affordable and rental sector (up from 4,122 in 2018). For the rolling quarter between September and November, 44,361 new homes were registered compared to 43,655 in 2018 – an increase of 2%. That period also saw a decrease in the private sector, with the affordable and rental sector growing by 28%, reflecting continued investment in the private rental sector. The West Midlands, London and the Eastern region were the fastest growing regions over the latest three-month period. Commenting on the latest figures, NHBC chief executive Steve Wood said: “It is good to report resilience in new home numbers, which should give some confidence going into the New Year. “As ever, construction quality is central to everything NHBC does. We will keep working with the sector to help improve new home quality for the benefit of consumers.” q


[ON 8 JANUARY the Home Builders Federation (HBF) hosted an

Environment Summit for the homebuilding sector to plot a route map to net zero carbon housing and other environmental objectives. The delegates to the summit included Government officials, housebuilders, energy suppliers, material and appliance manufacturers and environmental groups. The event came as results from a poll by Public First showed that 20% of people put environmental concerns in their top three biggest issues facing the country – higher than terrorism, access to quality education, taxation or public transport. However, over half of the people polled were not aware of the energy efficiency rating of their current home when they moved in, demonstrating the need for further consumer education. Consumer engagement was just one of the issues considered by the summit. While the industry has made significant progress over recent years, the milestones for delivery are looming large. In his opening remarks, HBF executive chairman Stuart Baseley said: “The reason we asked you all to join us today is to kick-start a constructive debate and hopefully an effective dialogue between the homebuilding industry and the various other groups, interests, suppliers and policymakers who will be vital to meeting the ambitious objectives we have to achieve. “I think it’s fair to say that the start of both a brand-new year – and decade – invariably focuses the mind on the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. And at the moment, there is no greater task facing us than that of climate change and the environment. q

Grenfell: next phase of inquiry follows damning indictment of cladding material [WHILE THE PUBLIC awaits the official

government response to the Phase 1 report of Sir Martin Moore-Bick’s inquiry into the Grenfell disaster, the make-up of the panel for Phase 2 of the inquiry has been confirmed. Phase 2 is expected to begin towards the end of January. In the words of Prime Minister Boris Johnson: “Phase 1 sets out WHAT happened; Phase 2 will explain WHY.” Sir Martin was in no doubt about what happened and what allowed the fire to spread so rapidly. In his Executive Summary of the Phase 1 report he writes: “The fire on the outside of the building quickly entered many flats and smoke spread rapidly through the interior of the building. As a result, effective compartmentation was lost at an early stage.”

What allowed the blaze to flash across the surface of the building was the presence of combustible cladding. Sir Martin writes: “It is clear that the use of combustible materials in the external wall of Grenfell Tower, principally in the form of the ACM rainscreen cladding, but also in the form of combustible insulation, was the reason why the fire spread so quickly to the whole of the building.” In common with Dame Judith Hackitt he calls for changes to regulations, although it wasn’t core to this first phase of his inquiry. He writes: “However, the evidence put before me in Phase 1 is already sufficient to demonstrate that a number of improvements can be made both in the way in which high-rise residential buildings are designed, constructed,

approved and managed and in the way in which fire and rescue services respond to fires in such buildings.” The last reference is to his finding that the fire service were unprepared for the extent of the blaze. “The otherwise experienced incident commanders and senior officers attending the fire had received no training in the particular dangers associated with combustible cladding, even though some senior officers were aware of similar fires that had occurred in other countries, and of the fact that construction materials and methods of construction were being used in high-rise building facades with a limited understanding of their behaviour and performance in a fire.” The industry now awaits the conclusions of Phase 2 of the inquiry. q

Fire door factory tour for the ministry – now open to specifiers [ENFIELD SPECIALITY DOORS is

Enfield’s ESD-FD30 PAS24 door was one opening its doors to specifiers, surveyors, of the first to be tested, to BS-476:223 in contractors, commercial fit-out companies a UKAS accredited test house, with doors and facilities managers, inviting them for opening both away from and into the fire – an exclusive tour of its two factories, based a particular concern after Grenfell. All the within the M25 just outside of London. timber doors passed the 30-minute standard, Visitors will be following in the footsteps of leading the expert panel to conclude: ‘Timber the Ministry of Housing, Communities and fire doors perform consistently when tested’. Local Government (MHCLG), which asked to Enfield’s door resisted the fire for 35 visit earlier this year. minutes facing into the furnace and 51 The MHCLG turned to Enfield after it was minutes facing away. That’s an extra revealed in February that only three of the five minutes facing into the fire and an 12 fire doors tested for the government were impressive extra 21 minutes facing away able to resist flames and smoke for the 30 from the fire. That’s even more impressive minutes required by building regulations for when you consider that Enfield’s doorsets flat front doors. All of the doors that failed came complete with a PAS24 security rating were composite fire doors incorporating GRP and a 3-point locking system, and without (Glass Reinforced Plastic). this additional metal hardware the safety Enfield’s two factories cater for high volume and Shortly after the tragic Grenfell fire, staff margin would have been even greater. smaller express delivery contracts numbers in the MHCLG dealing with building “We added this feature because in reality regulations went from three employees to the doors would be fitted with them for 120. Cut backs had reduced previous staff numbers, and the onus was security. Although it’s not a requirement of the test, we believe fire doors on the Government to get to grips with investigating the causes of the should be engineered to protect in the real world,” said Nigel Sill. “It’s fire, its rapid spread and how the tragic events that unfolded might have Enfield’s policy to ‘over-engineer’ our doors, occupants need time to been avoided. But there were few in the ministry that had the necessary evacuate a building safely, because things don’t always go to plan, and the expertise in fire or fire doors. fire service need adequate time to get in, fight the fire, and get out again Reacting to Grenfell and the calls for investigation, Enfield’s CEO Nigel safely. Every minute counts in a fire, so we intentionally include a safety Sill took the initiative and invited MHCLG to see the factory, which margin in all our fire doors. manufactures bespoke timber fire and acoustic doors. “As far as we “Since Grenfell, many specifiers and contactors want to understand know, no other manufacturer was visited,” said Nigel. more about how fire doors should work and how they are made. That’s Enfield Speciality Doors briefed the team from the MHCLG on fire why we’re throwing open our doors and inviting them to our fire door doors and fire protection expertise, before showing them how fire doors factory tours and fire door briefings.” q are made. The tour was much appreciated, and the team were also able to tap into Enfield’s technical advice following the visit. The MHCLG • For more information on specialist fire and acoustic doors, or to visit then tested 25 timber doors from manufacturers nationwide to assess Enfield’s factories, email, call 020 8805 6662 their effectiveness. or visit


Fire resistant concrete repair for vertical and overhead applications [CONCRETE IS THE most widely used construction material in the

world, with a wide range of regular uses. However, problems such as freeze thaw, spalling/cracking, carbonation, chemical attack and impact, amongst others, can all result in concrete damage.

L-R: Freeze thaw, spalling/cracking and carbonation

fire resistance – fire safety being a top priority in the world of construction. Particular areas such as tunnels, metro/subway systems and high-rise buildings are more susceptible to smoke and concentrated heat, which can dramatically increase the risk of environmental damage and threat to life. A fire in a confined space, such as a tunnel or underground parking garage, can generate much higher temperatures than one in an open space, due to containment and reflection of the heat. Fire can cause significant damage to concrete, resulting in severe structural damage. The generation of smoke can significantly hamper rescue services attending the blaze. This was shown in a number of events that took place in tunnels, car parks and commercial buildings. With temperatures reaching over 1,000°C, severe deterioration of the concrete can lead to a huge loss in structural integrity. These buildings and structures need to be closed and repaired for a prolonged amount of time or, in the worst of cases, completely demolished. It creates a wide number of economic and environmental consequences. To eliminate such dangers, Belzona 4141FR has been developed as a fire resistant, lightweight repair composite for the rebuilding and protection of damaged vertical and overhead concrete surfaces. This high-build system simplifies application whilst providing durable results. Thanks to both its

When a repair is needed, reducing downtime and maintenance costs are top priorities. Yet, there can be situations where applications aren’t straight forward, such as overhead and vertical repairs. Using traditional or alternative concrete repair methods can mean more time and costs associated with a repair. Formwork or shuttering is also required to mould the material into shape and provide support during and after the application. Not only does this extend the maintenance period, it also introduces further labour and material costs. Composite concrete repair solutions offer superior performance and application benefits compared to traditional and alternative concrete repair methods. Lightweight properties allow repairs to take place without the need for installation of formwork/ shuttering for overhead and vertical repairs. Mechanical properties are also superior with higher impact resistance and higher levels of adhesion. In addition, concrete generally must be Examples of Belzona’s applied composite concrete repair systems left to cure for a minimum of 28 days. Belzona’s composite concrete repairs can achieve a full mechanical cure in as little as 12 hours. mechanical properties and the fact that it is fire resistant, it received a Belzona’s latest innovation, Belzona 4141FR, introduces a further Euroclass classification of B-s1 d0. performance benefit for composite concrete repair systems in the form of During fire testing, the system was exposed to temperatures greater than

Belzona 4141FR – a fire resistant concrete repair system


Poor build quality adds to perpetuation of fire spread, says ASFP 1,900°C (3,450°F) for periods of 30 minutes, with no damage or loss of material contributing to the spread of flame. Additionally, as a solvent-free material, it is ideal for both internal and external masonry, experiencing no shrinkage during cure. Jason Horn, Belzona’s R&D manager, said: “Belzona has an established range of composite concrete repair systems that have been used in hundreds of projects around the world. With this product, we wanted to extend the capabilities of the range by developing a system that would complement our existing concrete repair systems, introducing an added element of safety – more specifically, fire safety. “Belzona has now introduced a fire resistant concrete repair system that is non-combustible, produces a very low volume of smoke and maintains its structure under immense heat. This allows the product to meet the conditions of projects where stringent fire and smoke standards are specified, for example underground services.”

Belzona 4141FR applied on a corner section of concrete without shuttering Belzona 4141FR aims to provide a safety conscious, fire resistant composite concrete repair system. Without the need for formwork/ shuttering, downtime is reduced and allows for an easy and quick application even with basic tools. From high-rise buildings and car parks to metro stations and tunnels, the system provides a long lasting, cost-effective solution for any type of building and structure. q • For more information visit

[THE FIRE AT the five-storey Travelodge hotel in Brentford,

West London, on 4 December serves to highlight yet again concerns regarding modern building processes, materials and the overall quality of construction, the CEO of the Association for Specialist Fire Protection (ASFP), Niall Rowan, has said. The ASFP lists a ‘catalogue’ of fires in recent months involving buildings where rapid and ‘unexpected’ fire spread has been a major feature. They include the Holiday Inn hotel in Walsall, the Premier Inn at Cribb’s Causeway in Bristol, a block of flats in Worcester Park in south west London, the Beechmere retirement complex in Crewe and The Cube student accommodation block in Bolton. The buildings use a range of modern methods of construction (MMCs), with many being of timber-framed construction or featuring cladding products. The ASFP is concerned that the use of such materials, matched with poor levels of build quality and little understanding of fire protection principles, is putting lives at risk. The association says that, while there is little information available to date on those particular buildings, there are a number of documented examples of modern buildings where fire protection systems have been poorly installed and maintained, and even missing from key areas. The ASFP believes the failings of the buildings are the result of decades of a prevalent culture in which fire safety has not been considered seriously, with cost rather than quality and safety being the key drivers. “A change in culture is necessary to ensure that fire safety is valued, with all forms of protection recognised as being part of a holistic system that ensures that failures or inadequacies in one system are compensated for by others, rather than systems being engineered out to reduce costs,” the ASFP says. Niall Rowan stated: “Building owners and fire services alike must be confident that buildings are constructed and maintained in accordance with the Building Regulations and that they can rely on them to perform as expected should a fire occur. However, changes in building materials and construction processes have transformed the way in which our building stock behaves in fire; and poor workmanship and light touch enforcement of Building Regulations has frequently resulted in buildings that offer poor levels of fire protection. Cost rather than quality has become the key driver. “The only way to ensure the safety of our buildings is to adequately enforce the Building Regulations and require owners and responsible persons to undertake regular audits of compartmentation and other firesafety systems. Similarly, competency requirements for specifiers, installers, maintainers and responsible persons must be defined and policed. “Education about the role played by fire safety systems and their intrinsic value is also vital. Only then will the importance of quality and competency rather than cost be truly recognised and the safety of our built environment assured.” q


Why pest control is a must-have on site [ONE OF THE less glamorous and in many cases

least regarded activities on a construction site is that of pest control. It is often considered at best as an add-on, and in many cases not considered at all. However, pest infestations are a major concern for the construction industry as construction sites often become infested with a wide range of pests. Those pests can threaten a site’s activities in a number of ways, from harming the health of site workers to the destruction of construction materials – plus, a site with an infestation of pests is not highly regarded by the community it is situated in. For all of those reasons, a properly formulated policy on pest control is as essential a part of a site’s methodology as any other – and may indeed form a necessary part of its health and safety risk assessment. It is also essential that pest control activities are carried out by a competent and properly accredited practitioner. The two main bodies contractors can turn to for accredited pest control companies are the British Pest Control Association (BPCA) and the National Pest Technicians Association (NPTA). BPCA is a not-for-profit trade association representing organisations with a professional interest in the eradication and management of public health pests. According to the BPCA: “The provision of pest management and control services is an area which is often overlooked; however, inadequate pest control can often have catastrophic effects economically, socially and on the public’s health. BPCA promotes the highest standards of professionalism within the industry, allowing only organisations that prove their competence to join as members.” The BPCA’s Codes of Best Practice outline the responsibilities and


correct practices that members are expected to adhere to. Those codes are subject to regular review by the BPCA Servicing Committee or are dictated by changes to legislation. They are publicly available, allowing customers to see the standards BPCA members work to. The BPCA also runs a series of training courses, leading to qualifications on four levels – Foundation, Core, Advanced and Higher. The NPTA is ‘a professional trade association that represents all sectors within the public health and pest control industry’. Its emphasis is primarily on the individual technician and the qualifications they have to offer. There are two categories of membership: full member and associate member. Both bring with them a number of benefits that are in common with many professional membership bodies. q

Prevent problems with professional pest advice at the start [

PEST CONTROL COMPANY Cleankill is seeing a surge in enquiries from developers and construction companies experiencing problems from rats on construction sites. “This is not entirely surprising,” said Cleankill technical manager Chris Davis, “and the increase in construction on brownfield sites will certainly be a factor. “Workers often disturb rat habitats when old sewage systems are damaged. The rats will then look for harbourage in other areas of the site or nearby properties. “Demolition of buildings with a pest infestation can result in a dispersion of these pests into the surrounding area and then later moving into and infesting the new buildings. “Professional pest control advice should be sought before demolition or construction starts,” stressed Chris. Construction taking place in the countryside where there are new housing developments may also displace many rats by disturbing and destroying their burrows. According to the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, developers and construction contractors should employ qualified pest control professionals to develop and follow safe, effective and environmentally responsible pest management strategies. This is an important part of ensuring a safe working environment for employees, An ideal entry point for a rat contractors and others who may affected by their work, under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. and harbourage and should consider accessibility for cleaning, As well as rats, pest birds, mosquitoes, squirrels and mice can sanitation and pest inspection. Suitable pest proofing, such as spread diseases such as salmonellosis, toxoplasmosis, ornithosis and interceptors, should be used in drains and earthenware, and below leptospirosis. ground drainage should be used in preference to plastic systems. Cracks and crevices in floors, walls and ceilings must be avoided Planning and design or sealed. Supply pipes and cables – gas, electricity, water, computer Rodents can have a serious structural and financial impact on and telephone – must be tightly sealed where they pass through buildings – damaging thermal insulation, electrical wiring and floors and walls. drainage systems. The aesthetic appearance of new buildings can Six weeks prior to the commencement of any demolition, the also be rapidly spoiled by bird fouling. Architects and building property and the surrounding area should be surveyed by a designers need to recognise and take into account pest minimisation professional pest controller to identify any infestations. Where and management issues in the design of their projects. infestations are identified, appropriate treatments must be The design of a new property should not have points of pest ingress implemented to eliminate infestation before demolition. Unprotected exposure to the debris arising from bird infestation in disused buildings can result in diseases such as ornithosis. Debris should always be removed by fully trained staff wearing appropriate PPE. Staff facilities including canteens, accommodation and toilets should be constructed and maintained in a clean and hygienic manner and in accordance with relevant regulations and codes of practice. Waste must be stored safely in suitably located, pest-resistant, closable containers and removed frequently. Only a properly qualified pest control operator should be employed to carry out any work required. The usual minimum general qualification in the pest management industry is the RSPH/BPCA level 2 in pest management. q

Drain cover to stop rats

• For a free survey contact Cleankill Pest Control via Cleankill is an award-winning pest control company which is also licensed to remove waste.



A site is a workplace as well as an investment [

CONSTRUCTION SITES HAVE their particular problems when it comes to pest control: they are in the open to a greater or lesser degree, have a multitude of nooks and crannies for pests to lurk, have a plethora of materials stored on them and often have cables and pipework ripe for destruction or as homes. As the BPCA states in its guidance for commercial organisations: “Rodents cause a wide range of damage due to their gnawing habits. Their strong teeth can easily puncture wood and aluminium and can cause damage to property – even fires if electric cables are attacked.” Birds create their own particular problems. Nests can get in the way of construction work, block rainwater goods and can even be found inside plant. Their droppings are unsightly, particularly on buildings nearing completion and especially heritage buildings being restored. Even insects can cause havoc on a site. They can block machinery, causing costly downtime, and may even consume some construction materials. All these particular issues are in addition to the problems caused to the site workforce. After all, a building site is essentially a workplace and subject to the same rules and regulations.

The BPCA again: “Pests have the potential to contaminate the workplace, spread disease, damage products, foodstuffs and property, and even ruin your reputation, leading to loss of business and even prosecution. If you have a pest problem, you're responsible for a site that attracts pests.” The association sets out the obligations every employer has: “Meet your requirements under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 to provide a safe working environment by employing a fully insured BPCA member who operates a safe system of work using suitable RISK and COSHH assessments. “Meet your ‘due diligence’ requirements by using a comprehensive reporting system as provided by a BPCA member.” As the BPCA points out, the penalties can be severe, and the reputational damage of a prosecution may be incalculable. q

European pest controllers agree to promote professionalism [

CEPA, the European pest management services trade association, has published a Memorandum of Understanding on Professionalisation of the Pest Management Industry. It marks a continuation in the organisation’s push for professionalism in the pest sector throughout Europe and is designed for businesses who adopt integrated pest management (IPM) approaches. CEPA is made up of a network of 80 national associations and companies in 23 European countries. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was unveiled at an Extraordinary General Meeting of CEPA, and details the commitments a professional pest technician should follow, which includes IPM. The integrated approach features in the European Standard EN 16636, which underpins the CEPA Certified scheme, and prioritises professional and sustainable pest management practices. CEPA’s aim with the initiative is to encourage those in need of pest management services to only use firms audited to the EN 16636 standard. It is expected that this will force a positive change across the pest industry, compelling pest management businesses across the continent to adopt a greater degree of professionalism. In the UK, every servicing company in BPCA membership has been audited to EN 16636 standard, but only around 20% of members are certified to the standard. It is part of the association’s strategic goal to

ensure servicing members meet the international standard, which is set down by the sector itself. BPCA chief executive and chairman of the CEPA task force which drew up the memorandum, Ian Andrew, commented: “With a current lack of regulated market entry requirements into pest management, it’s crucial that industry leaders take the initiative in guiding the sector towards greater professionalism. The Memorandum of Understanding is an opportunity to build a harmonised definition of professional pest management across Europe; but it’s only as good as the signatories who commit to it. “CEPA’s aim is to encourage end-users and public institutions to engage with the MoU and build a pest management marketplace that is recognised as a valued, professional service.” The presentation of the MoU was followed by a fruitful panel discussion, which included Henry Mott, director of BPCA member Conquer Environmental Services and newly re-elected president of CEPA. The panel agreed on the importance of reaching out to policymakers and users of pest management services with a message focused not only on public health, but also on current environmental concerns. In that regard, the key role of prevention was emphasised. Solid data on the situation and the potential impact of professional pest management is to be a cornerstone of supporting the message. q


Trades targeted in tool theft ‘epidemic’ [

FIGURES RELEASED by a leading business insurance broker point to an ‘epidemic’ of tool theft in the UK. According to the company Simply Business, insurance claims by tradespeople affected by tool theft have increased 54% in the past two years, with the average claim for stolen tools being for £1,684. Analysis of over 2,000 claims reveal the number of incidents jumped from 412 in 2016 to 893 in 2018, consistently increasing year-on-year. The South West saw the most dramatic rise in incidents (81%) followed by London (67%) and the North West (63%). The North East has the highest average claim (£2,033), closely followed by the East Anglia (£2,005) and the South West (£1,979). The construction sector has borne the brunt of the epidemic, with the five trades with most claims all being in the industry: builders (675), carpenters (357), electricians (258), plumbing and hevac (223) and joiners (214). Across the UK, one in three tradespeople

have experienced tool theft, while a further 65% know someone who has. A large number of thefts now occur without a forced break in, where thieves use an electronic key fob to swiftly unlock keyless entry systems. This makes it much easier to steal tools – and harder to notice when they have been stolen. Simply Business is calling on the government to implement greater fines for those convicted of tool theft, as well as tighter regulations on the selling of second-hand tools. It has launched a campaign to Stamp Out Tool Theft once and for all. Its chief operating officer Bea Montoya commented: “Tradespeople are the backbone of

Britain, but they’re being stopped in their tracks on a daily basis due to the on-going tool theft epidemic. Tool theft rips through the lives of thousands of tradespeople and their families every year. We've seen 87 different trades affected in the past two years alone, showing just how widespread the issue has become. “Unfortunately, it’s becoming increasingly common to see tools being stolen without leaving any visible sign of forced entry. The rise of keyless entry has meant the way thieves operate is changing, and it’s potentially becoming easier to steal tools.” Simply Business has five top tips for preventing tool theft: • Park against a wall – aim to park with sliding or rear doors against a wall or sturdy fence, so it’s difficult for them to be opened. You should park in busy, well-lit areas, and preferably in view of a CCTV camera. • Remove tools overnight – nowadays, a lot of break-ins can be from ‘peel and steal’ and electronic key fobs, so even well-secured vans

CCTV Monitoring focuses on growth with BigChange mobile workforce tech [CCTV MONITORING, one of the fastest-growing construction site

CCTV installation and monitoring businesses in the UK, has rolled out a mobile workforce system as part of a cloud-based business system from Leeds-based BigChange. Equipped with rugged tablets running a 5 in 1 app called JobWatch, CCTV Monitoring engineers are tracked and connected in real-time to the central system giving management 24/7 visibility of their field operations. CCTV Monitoring has a team of CCTV and security specialists with engineers that can be quickly deployed nationwide to provide a complete CCTV service from site assessment to installation, monitoring and servicing. The company also operates a 24-hour monitoring station to protect key building sites across the UK for many of the biggest names in industry – including Kier, Balfour Beatty, Morgan-Sindall, Galliford Try, Willmott Dixon and Skanska. BigChange has provided a complete end-to-end solution to CCTV Monitoring which handles the entire business process. From logging incoming service requests on CRM software, to work scheduling and job allocation, through to routing and tracking to live job reporting, invoicing and management reporting. “We knew straight away that BigChange provided a tremendous opportunity to improve the way we worked,” said Stuart Capstick, managing director of CCTV Monitoring. “The potential became very clear when we installed some large screens in the office and we could all immediately see our entire operations in real time and the exact status of each job. “BigChange really has revolutionised our business and it helps that it is very intuitive and very easy to use – it’s just ‘out there’.” With BigChange, CCTV Monitoring has improved the way resources are allocated as the system gives an instant overview of each engineer’s location, status and capability. Linked to GPS trackers on their vans, engineers use their tablets for navigation, job sheets, timesheets, parts ordering and vehicle safety inspections. The devices can also be used for capturing time and location stamped photographs, providing indisputable evidence from site should future customer queries arise.


Customer service has also had a big boost through improved communication with clients. With better and more up-to-date information, clients are kept in the picture through emails with expected time of arrival on site and job completion reports, backed up with photographs from site. Founded in 2005, CCTV Monitoring was formed to resolve the problems caused by opportunistic and professional theft from construction sites by using cost effective, technologically based CCTV alternatives to manned guards. After consolidation last year, the company is expected to grow by 40 percent in 2019 with expansion not only in the construction sector but also into new markets and areas of service such as access control and fire prevention. “The thing about BigChange is that we are no longer constrained as a business. We can expand freely without needing to worry about our IT capability – it is all on the cloud and mobile,” Stuart explained. q • For further information call 0113 457 1000, visit the website at or email

are at risk. If you can, remove tools from your vehicle overnight to completely reduce the risk of losing them, even if an attempt is made. • Mark your tools – having identification marks on your tools (from paint or permanent marker) makes it difficult for stolen tools to be sold on. It also helps to recognise you as the owner if they’re recovered. • Record serial numbers – make a note of serial numbers, as well as the make and model of tools you own. Providing this to police in the event of them being stolen will help to identify your tools if they’re found, as well as easing the process of making an insurance claim. • Make sure you’re insured – replacing tools is likely to be expensive, so having insurance in place, whether stand-alone tools insurance or as part of your business insurance policy, can help to give you peace of mind, as well as support with the sudden financial shock of tool theft. Check your policy, and if you don’t already have tools insurance included, consider adding it on. You should also check your policy wording to find out exactly what’s covered, what the limits and excesses are, and if there's any exceptions to be aware of. q • Find out more about the Stamp Out Tool Theft campaign at stamp-out-tool-theft/

Trespassers should be prosecuted [

ONE OF THE legal issues concerning construction companies in the age of social media is the liability conferred on contractors for the safety of trespassers on their sites – despite their best efforts to prevent so-called ‘urban explorers’ from gaining access. The bizarre outcome is one of the unanticipated consequences of the Occupiers’ Liability Acts of 1957 and 1984. Intended to force site owners to secure sites to prevent children and innocent people from accidentally injuring themselves, it has been expanded to include injuries sustained by criminals trespassing on sites and suffering perfectly foreseeable injuries. In some cases the trespassers have recouped substantial revenue from monetizing their exploits on social media. The response from the industry has been to take out injunctions against both known perpetrators and unknown others. Sir Robert McAlpine took out an injunction in March to cover four sites in Manchester. The firm’s safety, security, health, environment and quality director Anna Baker said: “Our decision to take out injunctions across a number of Manchester sites was one of a number of measures we have implemented to act as a deterrent to trespassers who may be thinking about accessing a Sir Robert McAlpine site. “We noted an increasing trend in the occurrence of urban explorer incidents across a number of our sites at the start of the year, specifically associated with climbing tower cranes.” The response from the industry was epitomised by Construction News reporter Miles Rowland, who wrote: “The law must evolve to address the behaviour of urban explorers and provide a more straightforward way for contractors to prosecute these deliberate trespassers.” q

Bull launches new access control site solution [

BULL PRODUCTS, a manufacturer of life-saving fire protection equipment, is taking construction safety to new heights, with the launch of a new access control solution. The Bull SmartGate System offers complete control of access to site. Using turnstiles, the system can be joined together to ensure quicker access for larger volumes of people accessing a site. These can be installed inside an existing building or at the entrance to a site. The turnstiles can be interfaced with temporary emergency alarm systems which will allow the turnstile to rotate freely, enabling a quick escape in the event of a site evacuation. The SmartGate System features an Infobric Cloud Attendance Software, providing construction sites with a simple way of keeping track of the presence on site. The technology allows sites to monitor who is on the construction site, how long they are there and how much time they are spending on projects. In addition, workers can add additional units to control registration and presence as the site grows. Bradley Markham, director at Bull Products, said: “During construction developments, managers need to be able to effectively control and keep track of those entering and exiting the site as well as ensuring projects are delivered on time. Our SmartGate System provides a reliable and smart process to maximise site protection, enhance health and safety and ensure site managers stay in full control of their site around the clock. “We are delighted to be bringing a new innovation to the market that incorporates the latest technology to offer an all-in-one access control solution.” The SmartGate System also features Ievo Biometric Hardware which has been designed to offer an additional layer of security for sites. Using multispectral imaging (MSI), it can capture levels of skin debris of a finger – up to 4mm deep – which allows for a high number of uniquely identifiable data points to be recognised and used for a more accurate and efficient process. The Ievo Biometric Hardware is also equipped with an internal thermostat-controlled heater and the fingerprint reader can operate in

conditions as low as -20°C and is IP65 rated, making it suitable for a range of weather conditions. The turnstiles can be delivered to site with a fully integrated attendance software, including biometric and card readers for a full endto-end solution. There are three options available: single turnstile unit, double turnstile unit and cabin turnstile unit. q • For more information contact Bull on 01432 371170, visit the website at or email


Professional organisations ensure quality in flooring [ONE OF THE showcases of a newly-

completed building is the flooring. From the much-vaunted quality of fitted carpets on a new-build home and the bespoke solid floors in wood or stone on a new office development, to the specialised flooring applications of industrial installations, the floor is an open book for inspection by everyone who enters the building. The supply and installation of floors on a contract basis is the job of members of the Contract Flooring Association (CFA). Members of the CFA include flooring contractors, manufacturers, distributors and consultants, both large and small and operating from locations throughout the UK. Members work across a wide range of flooring finishes – including carpets, underlays, vinyls, rubber and timber – as well as adhesives and flooring accessories. The association was formed in 1974 by the amalgamation of three small flooring associations and its membership accounts for a significant proportion of the quality companies in the UK commercial flooring market. The objectives of the CFA are: ‘to promote the highest standards of professionalism, safety and training, while at the same time providing

essential services and expert information to ensure the quality and productivity of our members’ businesses.’ All members have passed the CFA membership vetting process defining a good track record and are quality companies offering a high standard of installation. Through the CFA they all have access to upto-date technical, environmental and quality standards and all adhere to the Contractors Code of Conduct. With such a high level of commitment from so many companies and individuals, the CFA has a wealth of resources at its fingertips. The retail consumer market is also catered for by members of the National Institute of Carpet and Floorlayers (NICF). The NICF promotes excellence in the fields of carpet, laminate, domestic sheet vinyl, timber and luxury vinyl tile fitting. It was formed in 1979 as the National Institute of Carpet Fitters and rebranded in 1998 as the NICF in order to recognise those members who were multi-skilled and also to attract additional

members including vinyl fitters, wood and laminate fitters and vinyl tile fitters. The NICF is a highly respected organisation within the flooring industry and is active in promoting the skilled floorlayer. For many years it hosted the UK Floorcovering Fitter of the Year competition and initially devised and managed the European Team Floorlaying Championships, held each year in Germany. q

Industry’s recycling effort is redoubled [

THE FLOORING INDUSTRY, like any other, has to face the challenges of operating in an environmentally-responsible way. Part of the overall effort is an increase in the recycling of carpets and carpet tiles. Carpet Recycling UK (CRUK) is a not-for-profit membership association founded by carpet manufacturers that offers the flooring sector options for reuse and recycling of carpet and carpet tile waste. It has recently expanded its recycling opportunities with the addition of a facility near Edinburgh that will provide beneficial sustainable treatment and disposal routes for carpet waste for flooring companies north of the border. Speaking after the Harrogate Flooring Show, its manager Adnan Zeb-Khan said: “Expanding our carpet waste recycling and reuse facilities across the UK is great news for sustainability in the flooring sector. It offers flooring contractors, retailers and manufacturers more local solutions to divert material otherwise destined for landfill, thereby encouraging its reuse as a sustainable resource and recycling where possible.” “Enquiries received at the show were very encouraging, including interest from another retail buying group. Three buying groups are currently members and the more we work with them, the better we can help retailers to recover carpet waste for recycling and potentially save money on their waste costs.” Founded in 2008, CRUK’s mission is to promote the diversion from landfill of textile flooring in the UK to a resource for sustainable use. Last year, 175,252 tonnes of carpet waste including carpet tiles were diverted, representing a diversion rate of 44%. CRUK’s target is to increase this tonnage by a minimum of 10,000 tonnes year-on-year. q


Industry’s own training body offers a range of courses [

IN AN ERA OF technical advancement, many changes in product and installation techniques are evident in the flooring industry as with any other trade or profession in the construction sector. In order to maintain standards and facilitate training in the industry, in 1998 the CFA and NICF formed the Flooring Industry Training Association (FITA). FITA has a fully equipped training centre at Loughborough in Leicestershire, where its standard courses are run. As well as courses to suit beginners just getting started in the industry, there are upskilling courses aimed towards seasoned professionals – such as those wishing to become NICF Master Fitters – as well as bespoke courses for individuals or companies. FITA currently offers no less than 26 standard courses for both domestic and commercial installers. Short courses from one to five days are available as well as tailored courses. For the domestic installer, courses range from subfloor preparation to sheet vinyl installation, with a number of varying courses (dependant on the installer’s ability) in woods, laminates

and carpets, as well as courses on moisture and planning and estimating. Similar standard courses are available for commercial flooring along with a series of oneday assessments for the commercial installer looking to gain the FITA QA card. FITA instructors have all passed assessments and knowledge exams and are supported on courses by technicians with

specialist knowledge from the trade. FITA also enjoys the support of a considerable number of suppliers who freely donate materials, accessories and tools. q • To find out more visit

Ancient or modern, the quality endures [THE FLOOR OF a listed or ancient building is often one of its documented and cherished

features. Again, it is a feature that acts as a showcase for the whole building. Who hasn’t admired the fine wood or parquet floor of a medieval, Georgian or Victorian house, or marvelled at the weathering of a historic church floor? Delving further into history, this country has a surprising number of ancient mosaic floors. Fortunately, the craft skills and manufacturing techniques deployed to create these masterpieces have not been lost, and it is possible to maintain the integrity of such fine floors. Many listed buildings are not in the public eye and line our high streets and lanes, acting as homes for ordinary families. Organisations such as the Listed Property Owners’ Club can offer advice to those many people living in such buildings. By the same token, modern buildings can benefit from the quality of workmanship of such floors. The recent revival of intricate wood and stone floors has led to an upsurge in craftsmanship. q


c o n s t r u c t i o n n a t i o n a l w e b s i t e a toz 50

Welcome to our A to Z guide of the websites of some of the industry’s leading players. If you are one of our many online readers simply click on any of the logos listed below and you will be automatically directed to that company’s website. To get your company’s website listed on this page just give us a call on 0161 710 3880 or email


23 years experience in theming & scenic art for zoos, leisure and visitor attractions


Construction finance from Aldermore offers fast access to working capital


General and bespoke metal fabrications. Specialist secondary steel manufacturers and installers.


Helping the timber industries to come to the right decision!

RAINWATER SYSTEMS Suppliers and Distributors of Scaffolding and Access Equipment

The trusted name for chimney sweeping and relining. We supply and fit Stovax stoves and FuranFlex lining systems



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Construction National Winter 2019/20  

Construction National Modular & Portable Building Survey prompts ‘go green in 2020’ message Plans submitted for Everton’s new stadium Queen’...

Construction National Winter 2019/20  

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